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Call for Applications: Behavioral Health Workforce Learning Collaborative for Central East Region

Publication Date: Aug 15, 2022

Central East Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

A Virtual Learning Collaborative 
On Improving Workforce Recruitment and Retention 
In Behavioral Health 

Request for Applications Released: August 15, 2022 
Application Deadline: September 14, 2022


Apply Now!


Overview: Recruiting and retaining a workforce has been a longstanding challenge for organizations that provide mental health and substance use-related services. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, general labor shortages in the U.S., and the ‘Great Resignation’ have turned this challenge into a national behavioral health workforce emergency. Turnover and position vacancy rates have been at unprecedented levels during the past year.  

To assist behavioral health organizations in addressing their recruitment and retention challenges, technical assistance is being offered through an all-remote Learning Collaborative, which is open to mental health and substance use service providers located in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. 

The Collaborative will include a focus on: (a) recruitment and retention challenges during the pandemic, (b) the longer-term challenges post-pandemic, (c) fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, and (d) building structures and processes to sustain improvement on recruitment and retention.

This initiative is sponsored and funded by the Central East Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. The Learning Collaborative was designed and is managed by The Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce, one of the nation’s leading technical assistance organizations focused on mental health and substance use workforce issues.


The Learning Collaborative Process:  

  • The Collaborative will be conducted from September 2022 through June 2023 
  • Interested organizations apply to participate 
  • The selected organizations each form a three-member Recruitment and Retention Team
  • The Teams prepare for the Collaborative by assembling information on their organizations’ recruitment and retention priorities and gathering their existing recruitment and retention data  
  • Through a series of three half-day remote learning sessions, the Teams receive information about effective recruitment and retention strategies and are provided with templates to guide development of a recruitment and retention plan tailored to their organization
  • The Teams select goals and strategies and develop a recruitment and retention plan in consultation with other staff members in their organizations
  • The facilitators of the Learning Collaborative provide technical assistance to the Teams on plans and support implementation throughout the Collaborative process Teams participate in three additional Learning Collaborative virtual meetings at the beginning, middle, and end of the plan implementation process to share ideas, successes, and challenges with other participating agencies


The Collaborative Facilitators: The Learning Collaborative will be led by Michael Hoge, Ph.D. and Manuel Paris, Psy.D., both of whom are clinical psychologists. Dr. Hoge is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, Director of Yale Behavioral Health, and Senior Science & Policy Advisor of the Annapolis Coalition. Dr. Paris is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, Deputy Director of Hispanic Services at the Connecticut Mental Health Center, and a Senior Consultant to the Annapolis Coalition.


Cost: There is no fee for organizations to participate in this Learning Collaborative. 


Key Dates: 

August 15, 2022: The Request for Applications (RFA) and a recorded Informational Webinar will be posted at The RFA also will be widely distributed by the Central East MHTTC and the states/district that it supports.  

September 14, 2022, 5:00 pm, EDT: This is the deadline for applications to be submitted. 

September 21, 2022: Organizations will be notified of the outcome of their application. Up to 10 organizations will be selected to participate in the Collaborative.  

October 12, 19, and 26, 2022 from 9:00 am to noon each day: The intensive launch sessions for the Collaborative will be conducted remotely via Zoom with all Teams participating on all days. 


To Learn More: Please review the RFA and Informational Webinar once released on August 15. After that date, questions can be forwarded to Collaborative leader Dr. Manny Paris at [email protected].


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