The Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center is engaged in several projects designed to improve data collection, estimate workforce size and composition, and assess practice activities for all workers involved in prevention and/or treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Center projects address three focus areas.

A Descriptive Analysis of Peer Provider Practice Settings, Scopes of Practice, and Reimbursement

A peer provider is defined by SAMHSA as “a person who uses his or her lived experience of recovery from mental illness and/or addiction, plus skills learned in formal training to deliver services in behavioral health settings to promote mind-body recovery and resiliency.” They are a growing subset of the workforce that...Read More

A Descriptive Analysis of State Credentials for Mental Health Counselors/Professional Counselors

Over 144,000 Mental Health Counselors (MHCs) are active across the United States, and an estimated 19% growth is expected in the field over the next 10 years.Read More

Analysis of Behavioral Health SOPs

Scopes of practice delineate the specific services and functions a health provider is permitted to perform.Read More

Assessing Behavioral Health Workforce Surge Needs due to COVID-19

Exposures to traumatic events may be associated with poor behavioral health outcomes. Findings from a previous COVID-19 literature review indicate that symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress, and anxiety are more likely to be present for months and years in individuals exposed to public health crises.Read More

Assessment of Competencies in Behavioral Health Professions

As the behavioral health workforce continues to expand, increased amounts of resources are being invested in the development of professional competency statements.Read More

Assessment of Service Delivery in Vulnerable and Underserved Populations

Accessibility and quality of behavioral health services is woefully inadequate in many communities.Read More

Behavioral Health Payment Models Post-COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic has altered practice patterns and usage of behavioral health services, making explicit the consequences of paying too little for essential behavioral health care, or providing no mechanism for expansion and redistribution of the most valuable services to those who need them. Federal and state legislation, regulatory adjustments, executive orders and payor guidance seek to address the current pandemic crisis as well as decades of disparities in behavioral health access, acceptance, training, and payments.Read More

Behavioral Health Provider Experiences with Telehealth during COVID-19

This study aimed to assess impact of telehealth policy changes on provision of behavioral health services based on the experiences of psychologists, nurses, clinical social workers, professional counselors, substance use disorder counselors, and peer support providers during the pandemic.Read More

Behavioral Health Provider Shortages and Reimbursement Parity

Lack of access to mental health professionals is growing problem for those relying on Medicaid and/or Medicare for health needs. Behavioral health care is now considered the country’s most costly health condition, with an estimated annual cost...Read More

Behavioral Health Services Capacity of Primary Care Physicians

This project seeks to understand which behavioral health services primary care physicians currently provide for their clients and how often they do so.Read More