In 2015, the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center was established through a competitive award from the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Center is based at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. It made its public debut in late June of 2016 with a webcast outlining its organizational base, partners, and research priorities.
The mission of the Center, which is led by Dr. Angela Beck, is to support development of a workforce that is of sufficient size and skill to address the country’s needs related to mental health and substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery. The three priority research areas for the Center include developing a minimum data set for the behavioral health workforce, studying the characteristics of workers and practice settings, and analyzing scopes of practice within the states. Among the eight organizations that have partnered with the University of Michigan in this endeavor are NAADAC, NASADAD, and the National Council for Behavioral Health.