Report: Behavioral Health in SD Region Needs 18,500 Workers to Keep Up with Demand
A report completed at the behest of county leadership found the San Diego region will need to add more than 18,500 behavioral health workers in the next five years to meet the mental health and addiction treatment needs of the community, it was announced Monday.
The report by the San Diego Workforce Partnership found that by 2027 the San Diego region will need those additional behavioral health workers to keep up with increased need and population growth. It also offers some solutions to address the issue — including the establishment of a $128 million workforce training fund and developing regional training centers.
“We have invested at unprecedented levels in new mental health and addiction treatment services, but finding enough trained behavioral health workers has proven to be difficult,” County Supervisor Chair Nathan Fletcher said. “To create a robust continuum of care that offers a better way for patients to receive treatment, we need the right type of workers and right now the behavioral system region wide is woefully understaffed.”
“With the data in this report and the recommendations it outlines, our region now has a roadmap to scale-up and diversify the workforce,” he said. “To get it done, we need the support of the private sector, nonprofits and government.”
The report, “Addressing San Diego’s Behavioral Health Worker Shortage” highlights that by 2027, the San Diego region needs an estimated 27,600 total behavioral health workers to meet unmet behavioral health needs while keeping pace with population growth.