How Would a Certification in Harm Reduction Impact Service Delivery and the Harm Reduction Workforce? A Qualitative Study

By employing evidence-based methods, harm reduction seeks to lessen the negative health and social consequences associated with substance use. As harm reduction services continue to expand without the need for professional certification, there remains considerable variation in how the workforce is perceived and trained in harm reduction principles and practices. This article explores the harm…

Assessing the Training for Certified Peer Support Specialists Who Provide Mental Health and Substance Use Services

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic worsened mental health conditions due to sudden social distancing restrictions, prolonged isolation, and increased disruptions in mental health and substance use treatment and support services. Peer support specialists play a crucial role in helping individuals with mental health and substance use challenges explore various pathways to recovery. These services…

Varying Estimates of Social Workers in the United States: Which Data Source to Use?

Behavioral health needs are on the rise in the United States, significantly influencing health care utilization, costs, and outcomes. Social workers offer diverse services across health, behavioral health, and community settings. Although this variety enhances care delivery, it also makes health workforce analyses more complex. This article describes the various estimates provided by 5 national…

Harm Reduction Workforce, Behavioral Health, and Service Delivery in the USA: A Cross-Sectional Study

Harm reduction, an evidence-based approach that mitigates the effects of substance use through prevention, treatment, and recovery, has recently been identified as an important facet of efforts in the US to address the opioid epidemic and substance use disorders. However, little is known about the behavioral health workforce working in harm-reduction settings. This article aims…

Preparing Behavioral Health Clinicians for Success and Retention in Rural Safety-Net Practices

Increasing access to behavioral health providers in safety-net clinics is vital to ensuring behavioral health care equity. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the factors that better prepare behavioral health providers to practice in these settings. This article explores how experiences with medically-underserved populations during the education of behavioral health professionals affects their…

Advancing Behavioral Health Workforce Research and Policy

Addressing the behavioral health crisis in the US requires understanding who comprises the behavioral health workforce, where they are distributed, and what policy and practice issues facilitate or inhibit the delivery of behavioral health care. During this webinar experts from the UNC Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center provided an overview of research efforts designed to…

2023 Health Workforce Research Symposium: Addressing Health Workforce Shortages Now and in the Future

The 2023 Symposium featured experts from 9 federally-funded health workforce research centers discussing the most pressing issues facing the health workforce today. Recorded live on October 11, 2023 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. SESSION 1: Health Career Pathways – What’s Working? This session describes several very different health career paths—some that are…

Social Work in Integrated Primary Care: A Systematic Review

In conjunction with other legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is transforming medical care in the United States. The ACA is seeking to improve patient and population health outcomes while lowering costs. One mechanism is to incentivize the use of interprofessional health teams in primary and specialty care settings. These changes require reconfiguring and…

Toward a Better Understanding of Social Workers on Integrated Care Delivery Teams

Social workers are flexible employees with a wide variety of skills that can be adapted to fit complex and highly integrated healthcare settings. Many integrated health teams have benefited from the involvement of social workers, but little research has been conducted that examines the roles that social workers perform in these settings. This report describes…

Toward a Better Understanding of Social Workers on Integrated Care Teams

Social workers are flexible employees with a wide variety of skills that can be adapted to fit complex and highly integrated healthcare settings. Many integrated health teams have benefited from the involvement of social workers, but little research has been conducted that examines the roles that social workers perform in these settings. This brief describes…

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