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January 2022

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Thoughts for a New Year in Behavioral Healthcare

Over the past many years, the Annapolis Coalition has done important work addressing the frontline behavioral health workforce, primarily focusing on this important group of workers as “neglected” in some or many ways, needing recognition about its value in what it provides in the care of individuals entrusted to behavioral health. Board member Leighton Huey, MD, poses key questions about the behavioral healthcare system and how new thinking and models might improve not only workforce development, but also quality of care overall. {Read the essay here.}

National Council, HMA prepare recommendations for workforce crisis

The National Council for Mental Wellbeing, in collaboration with Health Management Associates (HMA), has prepared a series of three issue briefs to offer immediate actions states can take to expand current capacity and build a more stable future mental health and substance use treatment workforce.


The first brief (now available) Behavioral Health Workforce is a National Crisis: Immediate Policy Actions for States, is a summary of the policy, financial and regulatory waiver recommendations. The second brief (to be published this month) will focus on clinical care delivery models and digital solutions, and the third brief (coming in February) will focus on strategies to address diversity, equity and inclusion in the behavioral health workforce.


Additionally, the Center of Excellence for Integrated Health Solutions will host a virtual office hour/panel discussion on Monday, January 31 from 1 – 2 pm (ET). Transforming Care Delivery & Addressing the Workforce Shortage through Short-term Policy Action will focus on the release of the second brief (Clinical Care Delivery Models and Digital Solutions with an Emphasis on Leveraging the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Model). Learn more and register here.


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Overdose deaths grow...and grow...

Despite increased funding for services, increased access to medication assisted treatment, and ever-growing community efforts into harm reduction practices, drug overdoses in the U.S. were estimated to be 100,306 in the 12-month period ending April 2021, a record high. Complicated by a pre-existing opioid epidemic and the COVID pandemic, those who had the worst health access, especially minority groups and the poor, have been most impacted just as in other previous major disasters and pandemics. America’s overdose deaths, like COVID-19 deaths, expose deep inequalities and disparities in health access and recovery. {Read more in this article by Annapolis Coalition Chair, Mike Flaherty, Ph.D.}

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