The demand for behavioral health and mental health care expertise exceeds the availability of those services throughout Washington state. Difficulties exist in recruiting, educating, training, and retaining a skilled behavioral health care workforce.
There is a need to support pathways to behavioral health disciplines and incentivize individuals to fill these essential positions.
This bill further expands and supports behavioral health workforce pathway programs provided by the area health education centers to meet the behavioral health workforce demands in the state.
Based on availability of appropriated funds for this specific purpose, the Department of Health shall receive funds from the state and provide them to both eastern and western Washington area health education centers for the purpose of supporting and expanding current behavioral health workforce academic and career pathway programs.
Up to $1,100,000 is appropriated from general fund through June 30, 2020.