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October 2023

National Academy of Medicine Publishes Approaches to Addressing Opioid Epidemic

The National Academy of Medicine recently produced a special publication, “Educating Together, Improving Together: Harmonizing Interprofessional Approaches to Address the Opioid Epidemic.” The report presents information-gathering efforts to assess gaps in care and in education and training. The results focus on five key focal areas:

  1. Establish minimum core competencies among SUD workforce
  2. Align accreditors' expectations for interprofessional collaboration in education for pain management and substance use disorders
  3. Foster interprofessional collaboration among licensing and certifying bodies to optimize regulatory approaches and outcomes
  4. Unleash the capacity for continuing education to meet health professions learners where they are through investment and leadership, and
  5. Collaborate to harmonize practice improvement initiatives.

The full report and an executive summary are available online.

SAMHSA Releases Strategic Plan, Behavioral Health Workforce Identified as Priority Area

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released its three-year Strategic Plan spanning 2023- 2026 in August. The plan, “presents a new person-centered mission and vision highlighting key guiding principles and presenting new priorities, goals, and objectives.” Five core priority areas are identified, including:

  • Preventing substance use and overdose
  • Enhancing access to suicide prevention and mental health services
  • Promoting resilience and emotional health for children, youth and families
  • Integrating Behavioral and physical health care
  • Strengthening the behavioral health workforce.


Full plan available here.

In the News...

HHS Pledges More Than $200 Million to Support Youth Mental Health


The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced awards totaling $206 million to support youth mental health, including improving access to care and quality of care.

In a press release issued in late September, HHS noted, “The investments include the following:

  • SAMHSA is awarding $131.7 million in grant programs that connect youth and families to behavioral health services.
  • HRSA is awarding $55 million to expand access to mental health care for young people, including access to mental health care in schools.
  • ACF is awarding $20 million to improve the quality of mental health services provided to children involved in the child welfare system.
  • New Medicaid funding - PDF that helps expand access to health services, including mental health services, for eligible children in schools.”

(Each departments’ awards are highlighted in links above.)


Racial Justice Learning Collaborative Seeks to Diversify Psychiatry Workforce


The Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council (PPLC) continues its work in making diversity, equity and inclusion a priority in psychiatric training programs. In partnership with the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society, they established the Racial Justice Learning Collaborative comprised of the leadership of the 13 residency programs in the state.

The group recently released a reading resource list for faculty and trainees, building on its prior learning curriculum and learning collaboratives. See the full article in Psychiatric News.


In January 2023, the Annapolis Coalition presented its Innovation Award to the PPLC for its efforts in increasing the number of psychiatrists in the state, as well its DEI efforts.


The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced an additional $33 million to support the organizations enrolled in its Mentored Internship Program. The Mentored Internship Program grants are part of the Behavioral Health Workforce Development initiative funded by Opioid Settlement Funds. The initiative is part of DHCS’ work to expand California’s behavioral health workforce, improve access to behavioral health services across the state, and deploy resources that behavioral health employers can utilize to recruit and retain their workforce. See the full release here.

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