A national action plan for workforce development in behavioral health

Psychiatr Serv. 2009 Jul;60(7):883-7. doi: 10.1176/ps.2009.60.7.883.


Across all sectors of the behavioral health field there has been growing concern about a workforce crisis. Difficulties encompass the recruitment and retention of staff and the delivery of accessible and effective training in both initial, preservice training and continuing education settings. Concern about the crisis led to a multiphased, cross-sector collaboration known as the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce. With support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this public-private partnership crafted An Action Plan for Behavioral Health Workforce Development. Created with input from a dozen expert panels, the action plan outlines seven core strategic goals that are relevant to all sectors of the behavioral health field: expand the role of consumers and their families in the workforce, expand the role of communities in promoting behavioral health and wellness, use systematic recruitment and retention strategies, improve training and education, foster leadership development, enhance infrastructure to support workforce development, and implement a national research and evaluation agenda. Detailed implementation tables identify the action steps for diverse groups and organizations to take in order to achieve these goals. The action plan serves as a call to action and is being used to guide workforce initiatives across the nation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Health Care Coalitions / organization & administration
  • Health Planning Technical Assistance / organization & administration
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Patient Participation
  • Personnel Selection / organization & administration
  • Policy Making
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Professional Competence
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Self Care
  • Staff Development / organization & administration*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • United States
  • Workforce