MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
ISSUE: The mental health and addiction workforce has long been plagued by shortages, high turn-over, and a lack of diversity. There is certainly a need to train other health care providers as well as individuals in recovery to address behavioral health needs. Indiana must strengthen recruitment, retention, and training of specialist behavioral health providers and improve the financial and technical assistance infrastructure to better support and sustain the workforce. The pressing challenge is to scale up strategies to have a meaningful impact on the size and effectiveness of the workforce in light of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The aging and increasing diversity of the US population, combined with the expanded ac-cess to services that will be created by health reform, make it imperative to take immediate action.
MHAI will support behavioral health development programs, certificate and training of other healthcare professionals, loan forgiveness, and any other means to address the imme-diate workforce shortage, including parity in reimbursement for Addiction Counselors and Recovery Coaches as well as telemental health for behavioral health counselors.
PRIORITY LEVEL: I