Action Plan on the Behavioral Health Workforce

Concluding a two-year strategic planning process that involved more than 5,000 individuals across the nation, the Annapolis Coalition completed the Action Plan on Behavioral Health Workforce Development in 2007. Funded by the three Centers within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Coalition was charged with developing a comprehensive plan to address the nation’s growing crisis surrounding efforts to recruit, retain and effectively train a prevention and treatment workforce in the mental health and addiction sectors of behavioral health.

Many of the nation’s foremost leaders in workforce development were engaged as senior advisors to guide the planning process. They assembled and led a dozen expert panels and workgroups that reviewed available research and workforce analyses, gathered input from diverse stakeholders, searched for innovations in workforce development and formulated recommendations.

Groundbreaking at its time, the planning process and resulting report broadly defined the “workforce” to include not only traditional providers but also  persons in recovery, youth, family members and community coalitions. Strengthening the role of these individuals and groups in the workforce receives focused attention in the recommendations.

The final report reviewed the current workforce and its environment; outlined a set of general findings; identifies seven core strategic goals; and outlined the objectives and actions necessary to achieve each goal. Implementation plans linked suggested actions to recommended stakeholders, providing a detailed blueprint for use by individuals and organizations of all types. A section of the plan examined the workforce issues germane to selected populations and settings, and addressed the critical issue of workforce financing.

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