The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (MSDMH) has long recognized the professional development needs of the substance use and mental health disorders workforce in Mississippi. This year, in a continuing effort to address the workforce needs, MSDMH selected the Mississippi Public Health Institute (MSPHI) to build a workforce development program, which has been branded the Mississippi Behavioral Health Learning Network (MSBHLN). The MSBHLN is housed at the Mississippi Public Health Institute, a non-profit organization established in June, 2011, to engage in partnerships and activities that improve the health of Mississippians.
In the 2013 SAMHSA’s Report to Congress on the Nation’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Workforce Issues, SAMHSA stated that an adequate supply of a well-trained workforce is the foundation for an effective service delivery system. Consequently, BADS collaborated with the MSBHLN to conduct an assessment of the training needs of Mississippi’s behavioral health workforce.
In the fall of 2017, through focus groups and key informant surveys, MSBHLN learned more about the training needs, challenges and expectations of the aforementioned behavioral health workforce representatives. The findings are summarized in this report.