DEVELOPING A WORKFORCE
We see a need for addressing the looming workforce shortage as behavioral health services in primary care become more widely implemented. Bringing mental health clinicians straight from specialty mental health settings into primary care often results in program failure due to the poor fit of their assumptions about how services should be delivered and their inexperience in team approaches to care.
As integrated primary care programs mature, they discover more ways for behavioral health clinicians to help in improving outcomes, reducing stress for other team members, and in lowering costs of care. The initial BHC workforce in a practice tends to need to grow over time. Blount, et al. (2017)
Most mental health graduate training programs do not prepare students for success in
primary care. Additional training is needed. (Hall, et al., 2015).
Excellent post-degree training is available, but the expense is prohibitive to some.
Creating a career ladder within a primary care setting can allow entry level staff who have the desire and the aptitude to grow into the practices' BHCs of the future.