Behavioral Health – Aligned Strategies Framework

1. Increase the supply, diversity and distribution of qualified workers to meet target demand**

A. Increase K-health professions school awareness of behavioral health (BH)careers (including but not limited to Peers, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Substance Abuse Counselors, Clinical Psychologists, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, Psychiatrists, Psychiatric MH Nurse Practitioners) and educational paths and reduce associated stigma.
B. Promote STEM opportunities and awareness, including AP Science courses, related to BH careers.
C. Strengthen the scale, sustainability and outcomes of K-health professions school pathway programs to BH careers.
D. Offer financial incentives to bilingual/bicultural students to complete training in BH.
E. Increase paid pre-BH internship opportunities for 9-16; priority for underrepresented, underserved and bilingual students and communities.
F. Increase advising, mentoring and job & career ladder opportunities in BH for high school and college graduates, including people with lived experience and family members.
G. Develop BH program educational capacity to meet regional demand, leveraging distance learning.
H. Institutionalize jobs and stipends for BH candidates as they fulfill licensure hour requirements.
I. Develop/maintain sufficient clinical placements and incentives; priority for underserved regions.
J. Reduce administrative hiring barriers in public and private BH systems.
K. Target recruitment efforts at promising, under-tapped groups including older adults, re-entry population, veterans, immigrants and refugees, BH retirees and people with lived experiences
L. Sustainable, publicly and privately funded financial incentives are available for scholarships, stipends, residencies and loan forgiveness across all BH professions, including SA Counselors. Include priority professions, underrepresented candidates and underserved communities.

2. Align education and training program content and modalities with changing roles to prepare workers with the competencies to secure and succeed in emerging roles.

A. Address stigma through increasing education on prevention, promotion and early intervention strategies, and the role of individuals with lived experience in the workplace and school settings.
B. Expand education and training on MH and SUD for physicians, RNs, NPs, PAs, Pharmacists and other primary care providers by aligning curricula with competencies needed for integrated care models.
C. Curricula on the SDOH is embedded as part of training curriculum for all primary care and behavioral health education training programs.
D. Health Professions Education uses a full scope of distributed and brick & mortar training programs in all geographic regions. Clinical supervision available for trainees/interns working in remote areas.
E. Expand and replicate proven distance learning models for BH education.
F. Explore accelerated psychiatric training programs for existing professionals.
G. BH training is given to all elementary, middle and high school educators for early identification.
H. Training for alternative treatment modalities, such as wider adoption of group psychotherapy.

3. Strengthen the capacity, effectiveness and retention of the current workforce through changes in the roles, functions and configuration of workers and teams.

A. Experienced BH staff are offered training and education to acquire skills to work in integrated, team-based care settings.
B. Delivery systems are organized to ensure that individuals practice at the top of their license.
C. Well-trained people with lived experience and family members work with BH professionals.
D. Grant full practice authority to Nurse Practitioners, including Psychiatric MH Nurse NPs.
E. UC Schools of Nursing offer large scale Psychiatric MHNP programs for Nurse Practitioners.
F. Peer Support Specialists, Community Health Workers and other unlicensed staff have state certification and are reimbursable by public and private payers.
G. Appropriately trained non-BH workers, (e.g., interpreters), are integrated into teams.
H. All health workers have sufficient training to demonstrate standard competencies in BH.
I. Primary Care providers are trained to identify signs and symptoms of BH conditions and co-morbidities, refer severe cases to specialized care, and treat/refer mild to moderate.
J. Licensed/license-eligible and unlicensed BH providers are integrated into primary care teams.
K. Reimbursement for same-day BH and medical visits is universal across systems.
L. Continuing Education includes integrated care models for all health professions as the standard of practice, including skills development for specialized populations.
M. Increase compensation levels and implement retention bonuses for priority behavioral health positions and those who work in under- resourced areas.
N. Implement large scale strategies to promote provide well-being, renewal and reduce/prevent burnout and depression.
O. Incentives to recruit new providers from out-of-state, including forgivable mortgage loans.

4. Accelerate innovations in technology, process, payment and collaboration to cost effectively achieve access, outcome and equity goals.

A. Broad definition of services to include peer-led, supportive services and targeted prevention and early identification. (Connect with 4E)
B. Financial incentives are offered for mental health-promoting behaviors.
C. BH workers are trained to work in a variety of clinic, community, home, school and virtual modalities. Reduce/eliminate regulatory barriers related to providing care in these settings.
D. Greater provision of services offered in community, faith based, school settings. Reduce or eliminate related regulatory barriers related to providing care in these settings.
E. Increase adoption of screening for ACES, depression and other conditions. (Connect with 4A)
F. Standardized client outcome measures are used and collected across systems.
G. Technology (including web-based platforms) is fully utilized to analyze and collect data, improve access, offer innovative methods of self- care, prevention, early identification, treatment, and reduce stigma to accessing care (text/voice).
H. Reimbursement incentives in place for greater use of telehealth and improved workflows.

** Using the Coordinated Health Workforce Pathway Model