Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced that the states Workforce Board, in partnership with the Health Workforce Council, will evaluate current and projected shortages of behavioral health professionals. Behavioral health encompasses mental health as well as behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. The assessment will also address ongoing efforts to integrate primary care and behavioral health to ensure that treatment is better coordinated and that conditions are caught…earlier and treated, or even prevented. It’s not clear currently how many Washington health care professionals offer behavioral health services and if they are adequate in number to meet demand.
“This evaluation will establish a baseline for behavioral health workforce shortages and provide a plan for improving how we coordinate the right services for patients. We need to better understand how and where our citizens are receiving services, identify providers meeting those needs and expand training opportunities. It is crucial for Washingtonians to get the `whole person’ health care services they need.”
Governor Jay Inslee