Welcome to the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center's newsletter, where you can keep up to date with our research, presentations, publications, and events.
News & Updates
In this Issue:

  • Center Updates
  • Funding Renewal
  • GWU and BHWRC Partnership
  • Data Visualization Update
  • Behavioral Health Workforce Training Grant Webinar
  • HRSA's Workforce Data Warehouse
  • Project Highlight: Factors that Influence Access to MAT
  • BHWRC Publications and Quotes in the News
  • Connect with Us on Social Media
Center Updates
Funding Renewal and Year 5 Projects

The Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center (BHWRC) at the University of Michigan School of Public Health has received funding renewal from the Health Resources and Services Administration, effective September 1, 2019. The School of Public Health has administered the BHWRC since 2015 with a focus on strengthening the workforce responsible for prevention and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders by conducting studies to inform workforce development and planning efforts.

The BHWRC will be conducting 8 research projects in three priority areas:
  1. Strengthening the behavioral health workforce to address the consequences and impact of substance use disorders and mental illness,
  2. Addressing behavioral health workforce shortages and maldistribution, and
  3. Improving service delivery and reimbursement.

The Center will also continue its efforts to strengthen evaluation models for the Behavioral Health Education and Training Grant recipients.

Click on the image below to expand the project summary.
Mullan Institute and BHWRC Partner on Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder
The BHWRC is excited to announce a partnership with George Washington University.

The GW Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity was awarded a 3-year grant from SAMHSA to build a national database on the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder (MH/SUD) workforce. The BHWRC will partner with the Mullan Institute to develop a MH/SUD workforce database on the following practitioners:

1) MH/SUD “prescribers” such as psychiatrists, addiction psychiatrists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, physicians practicing in addiction medicine, and psychiatric nurse practitioners/clinical nurse specialists;

2) Primary care “prescribers” such as family physicians, internists, pediatricians, OB/GYNs, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants;

3) “Counselors” including psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists, and mental health counselors; and

4) “Paraprofessionals” includes peer specialists, community health workers (CHWs), rehabilitation specialists, and prevention specialists.
Data Vizualization Update
The BHWRC finished its annual update of the Scope of Practice (SOP) for Behavioral Health Professionals data set as of August 2019. The SOP data set contains the requirements and service authorizations for many behavioral health occupations across all fifty states and DC. This update made two major changes to the data set:

1) All credentials previously contained in the data set have been updated to be current as of summer 2019

2) Physician Assistants (PAs) have been added as an occupation, bringing the total amount of covered occupations to twelve

We thank the American Academy of Physician Assistants for their work in consolidating the nation's laws and regulations concerning PAs, and we are pleased to include these in our data set. PAs' contributions to behavioral health, be it primary care or psychiatric settings, serve to increase patient access to care.

Behavioral Health Workforce Education Training Grant Webinar
This webinar from the BHWRC and Health Workforce Technical Assistance Center (HWTAC) features 2 health workforce training experts who share best practice strategies for approaching workforce training program evaluation, navigating evaluation success and challenges, and student training experiences.

Their experiences along with viewer feedback help to inform development of the BHWRC's evaluation resources for health workforce training programs across the country.

Click the video thumbnail to access the recorded webinar.
HRSA's Workforce Data Warehouse
New Health Professions Training Programs interactive dashboards are now available in the HRSA Data Warehouse. These dashboards display aggregated performance data from the Bureau of Health Workforce's education and training programs from 2012 to present.

The HRSA Data Warehouse offers a wealth of data on BHW programs, health centers, grants, maps, and more!

BHWRC Project Highlight
Factors that Influence Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment
The use of medications in conjunction with psychosocial and recovery support services to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), an intervention often referred to as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), is an effective treatment option. However, a range of barriers and challenges exist that limit access to this treatment and other SUD services. The National Council on behalf of the BHWRC explored these factors.

This report identifies the ways in which organizational culture and provider perceptions and attitudes affect access to MAT and other SUD treatment, how Medicaid and other insurance coverage impact access to MAT and other SUD treatment, and state-specific initiatives in place to address the opioid epidemic and other SUDs.

The conclusions of this report found that barriers to the treatment of OUD and SUDs include lack of qualified treatment providers, disparities in treatment program access, regulatory barriers, financial barriers, and negative perceptions associated with treatment.

Read the full article for the details of the study and recommended policy and practice changes.
BHWRC Publications and Quotes in the News
Connect with Us on Social Media
In addition to carrying out important research projects, the BHWRC seeks to serve as a convener of behavioral health organizations and practitioners, and to become a recognized voice on behavioral health news, information, and research.

One method we use to accomplish these goals is social media, so please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest behavioral health news.
Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center | University of Michigan
Phone: (734) 763-3118 | E-mail: bhworkforce@umich.edu