Coordinated Specialty Care Workforce
For the past two decades there have been significant programmatic efforts to intervene intensively with individuals who are experiencing the early onset of psychotic symptoms. Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC), which is a multi-component team-based service, has been shown in randomized clinical trials to produce greater reduction in symptoms, less time in psychiatric hospitalization, improved vocational outcomes, and enhanced quality of life when compared to usual care. With an infusion of funding from the federal government, CSC grew in this country from a handful of programs at academic centers to a large number nationally, including statewide implementations. With the increase in CSC in the United States, there has been greater attention given to the workforce aspects of operating these programs.
With funding from SAMHSA, The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) engaged the Annapolis Coalition to identify major workforce themes and recommendations from a review of the literature and interviews of CSC experts. The resulting product was a comprehensive Issue Brief, titled Workforce Development in Coordinated Specialty Care Programs authored by Drs. Jessica Pollard and Michael Hoge. The document identifies 25 competencies for individual direct care CSC staff and outlines recommendations regarding recruitment and retention; orientation and training; professional development; supervision; and incorporating trainees into these programs. In a subsequent effort, NASMHPD commissioned these authors, under the auspices of the Annapolis Coalition, to create a training resource titled Transitioning Clients from Coordinated Specialty Care: A Guide for Clinicians. From a workforce perspective, there is a need for CSC staff to accept the inevitability of transitions for these clients to continuing care and to prepare for the transition throughout the CSC course of care. The guide offers practical guidance derived from interviews of experts in this form of treatment. The need for CSC clinicians to educate and support the receiving continuing care clinicians is a major workforce development theme that appears throughout the guide.