Workforce problems have an impact on almost every aspect of prevention
and treatment across all sectors of the diverse behavioral health field. - National Action Plan on the Behavioral Health Workforce, 2007.
Workforce development is designed to improve the behavioral health of individuals, families and communities by ensuring that there is a workforce of appropriate size, composition, and competency to address mental health and substance use related needs in a specific geographic area or the nation at large. There has been a longstanding consensus in the United States about the critical need to strengthen the behavioral health workforce. The Mental Health Technology Transfer Centers (MHTTCs) are committed to playing a key role in addressing that need.
There are many workforce challenges in behavioral health and a myriad of strategies and tactics for strengthening the workforce. At times, the complexity is overwhelming to those provider organizations or policymakers that are engaged in workforce planning and intervention. The 2007 SAMHSA-funded national Action Plan on behavioral health workforce development identified a framework for organizing planning and action that focused on: (1) broadening the composition of the workforce, (2) strengthening the traditional workforce, and (3) creating structures to support the workforce. View this workforce framework.
There are a variety of websites and major reports that serve as resources for behavioral health workforce development. View the resource list.
Characteristics of the Workforce
Behavioral health has, perhaps, the most diverse workforce among all health care fields with respect to the types of providers. Click here for more information.
Recruitment & Retention
Workforce recruitment and retention have long been identified as significant challenges in the behavioral health field. While these are simple terms, the issues are quite complex. Click here for more information.
In the next few months, there will be special sections on the following:
- Supervision & Coaching
- Leadership Development
- Peer Workforce
- Direct Care Workers
- Rural & Underserved Areas
- Workforce Infrastructure