National Mental Health Workforce Acceleration Collaborative
What is The National Mental Health Workforce Acceleration Collaborative?
Over 50 million Americans are experiencing a mental illness. Yet, there is only one mental health provider for every 350 individuals in the U.S. This shortage of providers has contributed to nearly 55 percent of adults with mental illness receiving no treatment.
To address the mental health and substance use treatment workforce shortage and to increase the number of diverse licensed clinicians serving clients, Kaiser Permanente, in partnership with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council), Resilient Georgia, Metro State University – Denver, and Colorado Health Institute are launching the National Mental Health Workforce Acceleration Collaborative (NMHWAC) Program.
"Similar to experiences from 2022, workforce shortages were discussed in nearly every [BHRIC] meeting held, no matter the overarching topic for that meeting. It quickly became clear that decisive action is needed to address the growing workforce challenges throughout the state and that continued work needs to be done to address these challenges in the long run as well".
-Georgia Behavioral Health and Reform Innovation Commission, Executive Summary, 2023 Annual Report
Workforce development remains the #1 priority statewide according to the Georgia Behavioral Health and Reform Innovation Commission.
The majority of Georgia counties (152 out of 159) are in a federally designated mental health shortage area.
Increase the number of qualified licensed mental health and substance use treatment clinicians
While enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in patient-facing mental health and substance use treatment positions.
This program launched in September 2023 in Georgia and runs through September 2025.
"The NMHWAC is an exciting new initiative aligned with Resilient Georgia’s strategic priority to 'advance workforce through recruitment, retention, education, and development'. The post-master’s NMHWAC program facilitates the trajectory of recent behavioral health graduates from employment to licensure. In addition, the pre-master’s program will help support graduate students completing clinical experience while in graduate school. Both programs strive to reduce barriers and improve access to resources necessary for Georgia’s mental health workforce development, especially in rural and other underserved areas".
- Dr. Andrea Meyer Stinson, Director of Workforce Strategy and Initiatives, Resilient Georgia
"Resilient Georgia strives to create a future where every child and young adult in Georgia will have access to high-quality, integrated behavioral health services and support, empowered by a statewide network of trauma-informed organizations working together to prevent and heal childhood adversity. This partnership with Kaiser is a critical step to developing the workforce of mental and behavioral health professionals that is desperately needed to make that future a reality".
-Dr. Emily Anne Vall, Executive Director, Resilient Georgia
Increase percentage of master's degree graduates who become licensed in target states.
Increase the number of patients served by partially qualified pre- and post-masters candidates.
Increase diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, language, geographic, and cultural) of fully licensed master’s level mental health professionals in target states.
Improve Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) health professional shortage area scores in identified target communities.
NMHWAC Georgia Programs
Funding and resources provided to behavioral health “site providers” to support recent mental health graduates on track to licensure
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Key Program Partners
This initiative is generously supported by Kaiser Permanente Georgia and the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at The East Bay Community Foundation.
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council) serves as the National Program Administrator for the NMHWAC. The National Council is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,300 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. The National Council advocates for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services, builds the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations and promotes greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care.
Resilient Georgia serves as the State Co-Chair for the NMHWAC program in Georgia. Resilient Georgia leads a statewide coalition of trauma-informed organizations that develops a closely aligned trauma-informed public and private network working toward a united vision to create a birth through 26-year-old integrated behavioral health system. Advancing the workforce is a key strategic priority over the next two years (see 2023-25 Strategic Map).
The Georgia Association of Community Service Boards, Inc. (GACSB) serves as a partner for the NMHWAC in Georgia. The GACSB is the representative state association of the twenty-two Community Service Boards (CSBs), created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1994 and codified in state law (O.C.G.A 37-2-6) as the state’s behavioral health safety net, ensuring all Georgians have access to high quality care for mental health, substance use disorders, and intellectual/developmental disabilities services and supports in their community regardless of their ability to pay.
Motivo Health serves as the clinical supervision partner for the NMHWAC program. Motivo offers services for sites that are unable to provide clinical supervision to program candidates. Motivo is a virtual clinical supervision platform that will connect therapists working towards licensure with vetted clinical supervisors to help them meet criteria. Motivo provides access to a diverse pool of clinical supervisors to support matching with therapists who are looking for specific clinical needs, demographic preferences and areas of specialty.
The Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences (AATBS), a Triad Company, serves as the clinical licensure support partner for the NMHWAC. AATBS seeks to enhance the skills of mental and behavioral health professionals through highly effective education on content and conceptual knowledge relevant to their professions. They specialize in preparation for mental health licensure examinations and continuing education.