Alcohol and Drug Abuse – Workforce Development
Since 2015, SAMHSA has been working towards improved behavioral health workforce data so that states could engage in meaningful planning efforts and develop a workforce that is sufficient for their needs. Historically, nationwide there have not been enough providers to meet the needs of the expanded eligible population. This problem is particularly acute in rural or remote areas, and is exacerbated by provider loss to better (higher paying) opportunities, particularly with the Veterans Administration.
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) is working with other Divisions throughout the Department of Health on a workforce development strategic initiative contained in SAMHSA’s Strategic Plan, Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation 2015-2018. The initiative highlighted 4 major goals: increase training and educational tools and core competencies; develop and support the deployment of peer providers; track behavioral health workforce needs; and, influence and support funding for the behavioral health workforce.