The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) are investing in behavioral health workforce transformation through this State Innovation Model (SIM) funded initiative. This project builds off of the findings of the Rhode Island Healthcare Workforce Transformation Assessment which identified the following challenges in Rhode Island: low wages, high turnover, limited career opportunities, challenging working conditions, and increasing need for services. These challenges hold true for the behavioral health workforce.
EOHHS and BHDDH have contracted with JSI, SUMHLC and RIC, referred to as the Triad, to carry out this work. The foundation of this project will be the Behavioral Health Workforce Needs Assessment, a synthesis of findings from studies and interviews throughout the state, and a Workforce Development Plan to guide implementation and collaboration with other initiatives. Though the emphasis will be on publicly funded providers, the Triad will take into account the broader context.
The Triad is taking a strengths-based approach to behavioral health workforce development. Providers have developed skills in working with consumers, and many of these same skills can also be used to support professional development and systems strengthening.