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Despite being a leader in educating, training, and licensing a behavioral health workforce that is more robust than many states, Massachusetts is experiencing a shortage of qualified behavioral health providers. This is reflected in long waiting lists for outpatient services and an insufficient number of available psychiatric beds, especially for children. Although these workforce challenges predate the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap between the demand for behavioral health services and the availability of providers has grown.

This inventory and summary report highlight policies, programs, and incentives available to recruit, retain, expand, and sustain the behavioral health workforce in Massachusetts. Authors relied principally on internet research to develop the inventory, with report findings supplemented by a literature review, key informant interviews, focus group focused on diversity and equity, and survey of school behavioral health professionals.