Seattle Times: 4 ways we can boost Washington’s mental health workforce, from people in the industry

February 22, 2022

In February 2022, Seattle Times reporter Michelle Baruchman connected with leaders across WA to learn more about workforce issues. As leaders on the community behavioral healthcare front, Fourfront Contributor CEOs and staff shared their insights. We’ve copied an excerpt of the Seattle Times article below.

“Washington’s mental health workers are leaving their jobs in droves.

“We need to be able to keep staff and retain and recruit them. Without doing that, we won’t be able to serve the community that we do,” said Jose Lopez, director of inpatient services at Comprehensive Healthcare in Eastern Washington.

The biggest challenges to recruiting and retaining mental health care workers are low wages and feelings of exhaustion and stress, providers say. Salaries are not keeping pace with the cost of living and the high-pressure needs of the job.

But people who work in the industry say there are tangible, achievable changes that would make a difference.

As Washington lawmakers work their way through the 2022 legislative session and explore ways to improve mental health care in the state, The Seattle Times spoke with professionals in the field about potential solutions to stymie an exodus of mental health workers and attract new people to the industry.

“Here are four of their ideas.” Read more at the Seattle Times.