On November 12, 2015 Gail Stuart, PhD, RN, FAAN, President of the Annapolis Coalition of the Behavioral Health Workforce, was the keynote speaker at the 31st Annual Rosalyn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy where she showcased strategies to combat behavioral health issues in today’s workforce. The two-day symposium discussed several potential solutions to address the gaps in the behavioral health workforce that have resulted from a surge in demand, along with the field’s shift toward integrated care and population health.
Dr. Stuart’s presentation challenged the attendees to consider whether the behavioral health workforce needs more evolution, a transformation or a true revolution. Revolutionary strategies were identified in relation to the settings in which we provide care, whom we consider to be behavioral health providers, the focus of our care and how we educate the current and future workforce. Each of these areas was explored in more depth in break out groups during the remainder of the conference.
In 1985, former first lady Rosalynn Carter initiated the annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy to bring together national leaders in mental health to focus and coordinate their efforts on an issue of common concern. The symposia have been a unique opportunity each year for this leadership to hear remarks from a variety of individuals with expertise on a selected topic; discuss diverse viewpoints in an open forum; identify areas of consensus and potential collaborations as well as points of divergence; and to recommend action steps for symposium participants to move an agenda forward.
Information about the Carter Center Mental Health Program and a link to the archived webcast of the November symposium, including Dr. Stuart’s address, are available online.