NH Behavioral Health Workforce Project
Under commission from the New Hampshire Endowment for Health, Antioch’s Center for Behavioral Health Innovation has recently completed an assessment of New Hampshire’s workforce serving the behavioral health needs of underserved populations in primary care in NH. We have surveyed the “safety net” clinics about their level of integration and staffing capacity, in relation to both current and projected workforce needs. We also surveyed academic programs in the State about their current focus on preparing the primary care workforce for behavioral health services. We are looking into the workforce involved in prescribing and consulting about psychotropic medications and treatment planning, providing psychotherapeutic interventions, relaxation response therapies, and motivational enhancement for healthy behavior, and who are delivering services designed to create and maintain patient engagement in care, address issues of health literacy and adherence, address the barriers patients face in caring for their health (sometimes designated as the “social determinants of illness”), and who keep information about the patient’s health needs and health behavior flowing between the patient and the health team. We hope to carry this work forward by assembling a working group of representatives from primary care health centers and academic programs toward developing a “Doorways and Pathways” model for guiding people into primary care as a career.