Behavioral Health Workforce Challenges: Recruitment, Retention, and Work Environment

Authors: Jessica Buche, MPH, MA | Angela Beck, PhD, MPH | Phillip Singer, MHSA

Topics: Behavioral Health, Diversity, Staffing

Research Center: Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center

September 1, 2016

The behavioral health workforce faces considerable challenges, including demand for behavioral health services, changes to the health system under the Affordable Care Act, the return of war veterans with behavioral health needs, and a shift from incarceration to treatment-oriented behavioral health care in the criminal justice system. These changes place additional strain on the existing workforce and exacerbate behavioral health workforce recruitment and retention challenges such as high turnover, high workload, lack of resources, and stigma.

This policy brief assesses work environment factors that may impact recruitment, retention, job satisfaction, and diversity of the behavioral health workforce.

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