Workforce shortages reach crisis levels: Fourfront speaks on need for CCBHCs at State of Reform Conference

February 9, 2022

The workforce shortage has persisted throughout the pandemic, and as a result, clients are facing greater obstacles to care. The crisis is dire – some centers have closed as a result of lacking staff, and those that remain opened have often had to shorten hours or require extra hours from remaining staff, threatening the sustainability of the entire system.

Across our four organizations, you can see below just some examples of how the workforce shortage has impacted community members in need of care for our many services for behavioral health and substance use disorders.

At the beginning of 2022, Fourfront Contributor joined leaders from across the state to discuss the challenges and solutions to our current workforce shortage at the State of Reform Health Policy Conference. In a conversation titled, “An honest conversation about the behavioral health system,” Fourfront Contributor represented by Tom Sebastian, Chief Executive Officer of Compass Health, shared insights into the changing needs of Washington’s behavioral health system as well as the policy responses that can support those needs.

Though there are many short- and long-term elements to consider, one core element is the need for Washington to adopt the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model. The CCBHC model is a nationally proven, evidence-based approach that will help ensure the sustainability of community behavioral health. Across the country, ten states have adopted the model to support workforce retention, expanded care delivery, robust outcomes reporting and more.

Learn more about CCBHCs and the workforce shortages here.