Workforce Transformation in the States

Two recent peer-reviewed publications from Annapolis Coalition authors highlight behavioral health workforce development in the states. The first, which focuses on Workforce Development and Mental Health Transformation, captures the comprehensive workforce initiative in Connecticut funded through a SAMHSA Mental Health Transformation grant. The second publication, which focuses on direct care workers, describes a multi-year effort to develop and promote adoption of the Alaska Core Competencies.

The analysis of the Connecticut transformation effort, which was published in the Community Mental Health Journal, examines four major workforce initiatives. These focused on supervision standards and competency development, higher education curriculum reform, peer run employment services, and parent leadership development. The article describes each initiative and offers five recommendations to guide public sector workforce development in behavioral health. The authors included Dr. Michael Hoge, Senior Science and Policy Advisor for the Annapolis Coalition, and Dr. Jessica Wolf, Senior Consultant to the Coalition. The reference for the publication is: Hoge, M.A., Wolf, J., Migdole, S., Cannata, E., & Gregory, F. Workforce development and mental health transformation: a state perspective. Community Mental Health Journal, 52, 323–331, 2016.

The Alaska initiative with direct care workers was summarized in the Journal of Rural Mental Health. The work described in this publication represents an eight-year effort to strengthen the competencies of direct care workers in the areas of mental health, substance use, developmental disabilities, and the long-term care of older adults. The work was conducted by the Annapolis Coalition, in partnership with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The article reviews the development of core competencies, assessment tools, a worker training curriculum, a train-the-trainer curriculum, and a competency coaching toolkit. Challenges in dissemination and adoption are also discussed. The reference for the publication is: Hoge, M.A., McFaul, M., Cauble, L.L., Paris, M., Calcote, R.M. Building the skills of direct care workers: The Alaskan Core Competencies initiative. Journal of Rural Mental Health, 40, 31-39, 2016.

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