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Healthy Minds Launches Workforce Policy Series

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Healthy Minds Policy Initiative today released the first in a four-part series of policy research briefs exploring the state of Oklahoma’s behavioral health workforce, action areas for policymakers and a special focus on the state’s changing behavioral health workforce landscape as a result of COVID-19, Medicaid expansion and a possible shift to Medicaid commercial managed care.

The ongoing policy research will shed light on national reports indicating that Oklahoma ranks highly for behavioral health workforce availability. In its reports, Healthy Minds will show how the availability of behavioral health professions differs widely by profession and geographic area. The reports will also pinpoint areas of need and explore how Oklahoma policymakers can match available limited workforce resources with need.

Initial findings suggest that Oklahoma has a relative abundance of primary care physicians compared to extreme shortages of key mental health professions, leading to questions about training prioritization in the long-term, and more immediate opportunities for cross-disciplinary care to address current shortages.

The reports are informed by a diverse range of expert interviews conducted in late 2020, along with a host of available workforce data.

What’s the bottom line? Explore a snapshot of the project here.

To read our Acknowledgement of Key Stakeholders, click here

Full reports in the series will include:

  1. Greatest Needs of Oklahoma’s Behavioral Health Workforce: Released December 15, 2020
  2. Action Areas for Improving Oklahoma’s Behavioral Health Workforce: Released January 25, 2021
  3. The Impact of Medicaid Expansion and Commercial Managed Care on Oklahoma’s Behavioral Health Workforce: Released February 25, 2021
  4. Oklahoma’s Behavioral Health Workforce Issues in COVID-19: To be released by March, 2021