Recent Webinar Examines Methods to Support County-Level Change in the Mental Health Workforce
This past December, DirectCourse/College of Recovery and Community Inclusion (CRCI) hosted an important webinar that examined the need for expanded and improved training for personnel in non-licensed and/or entry-level positions in the field of mental health .
The webinar was hosted by three experts in the field: Professor Mark Salzer, PhD, the Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University; Richard C. Baron, MA, Director of Knowledge Translation Activities for the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities; and Bill Burns-Lynch, MA, LPC, CPRP, Program Director for the College of Recovery and Community Inclusion.
“What we have learned over the last eleven-plus years is that evidence-based practices exist to promote recovery and community integration,” Salzer states in the webinar. “And these are things that your agencies or organizations are currently attempting to implement. What we’ve also found, though, is that there are challenges in disseminating these evidence-based practices. Sometimes agencies have challenges fully implementing the practices to achieve maximum outcomes. This is a result of a number of different factors.”
The speakers go on to offer a thorough examination of the national movement toward recovery and community inclusion in the mental health services community, and the specific challenges that county mental health systems face as responsibilities increase for this workforce despite limited training funds.
The session also focused on many of the factors that mental health practitioners face that may impede their efforts. “We’re talking about an element of the workforce that doesn’t get very much attention,” noted Baron. We’re not talking about licensed personnel… [t]hese are the folks who have exceptionally demanding jobs, these are the folks doing the hands-on work, these are the folks establishing intense relationships, and are working in group and individual settings. This is the workforce that supervisors and mental health administrators rely upon not only for the day-to-day work of our mental health systems, but also the work that is designed to promote recovery.” From the need for improved training for non-licensed and/or entry-level positions, to reducing turnover, as well as the increasing responsibilities that are affecting these positions, the webinar closely examines the myriad challenges that face this most important element of the mental health workforce.
County Mental Health Administrators and mental health training and technical assistance coordinators will benefit from listening to the webinar online. The information will allow them to learn four strategies for improving the attitudes, knowledge base, and skills of this portion of the workforce in the emerging systems of community mental health care. Burns-Lynch said, “County Mental Health Authorities can play a significant role in elevating the priority of the issues related to workforce development and support the creation of a dynamic, informed, and committed workforce.
As Mr. Baron stated in the webinar, “[p]eople with mental health conditions in surveys and stories consistently credit ‘this one person who worked with me who really listened to me and helped me regain a sense of self and hope for the future.’” With adequate training and support, community mental health practitioners can be ‘this one person’ and change someone’s life forever.
To listen to the DirectCourse/College of Recovery and Community Inclusion webinar, please click here.