Behavioral health-care provider workforce plan
- current workforce
(1)On or before September 1, 2022, the behavioral health administration shall create and begin to implement a behavioral health-care provider workforce plan to expand and strengthen Colorado’s behavioral health-care provider workforce to serve children, youth, and adults. In creating the plan, the BHA shall consider the stakeholder recommendations that address the behavioral health workforce shortage published by the department in December 2021.
(2)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The plan shall include:
(I)The development and implementation of recruitment methods to increase and diversify the behavioral health-care provider workforce through identifying the cultural barriers to entering the behavioral health-care field and incorporating the appropriate strategies to overcome those barriers;
(II)Strategies to aid publicly funded behavioral health providers in retaining well-trained, clinical behavioral health-care providers at all levels; and
(III)Regulatory changes to reduce barriers.
(b)As part of the plan, the BHA shall use money appropriated to the BHA to partner with organizations such as local, state, and national organizations representing priority populations.
(3)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The plan shall require the BHA to partner with the department of higher education to better prepare the future behavioral health-care provider workforce for public sector service, to develop paid job shadowing and internship opportunities, and to develop partnerships with organizations that can offer such opportunities.
(b)The BHA and the department of higher education shall provide incentives to institutions of higher education for the purpose of marketing and promoting behavioral health-care educational programs to students and increasing the number of students who graduate with a degree in a behavioral health-care field of study.
(4)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The plan must include strategies for the BHA to work with community colleges and other institutions of higher education to recruit and develop the skills of residents of rural communities and residents of state-designated health professional shortage areas, as defined in section 25-1.5-402 (11), with the goal of educating these residents in behavioral health-care fields to provide services for children, youth, and adults so that the residents return and practice in the rural areas and other shortage areas.
(b)The strategies implemented by the BHA in subsection (4)(a) of this section shall include student loan repayment programs and scholarships to individuals who are committed to providing behavioral health-care services in rural communities and state-designated health professional shortage areas, as defined in section 25-1.5-402 (11), for at least three years. The BHA shall coordinate and work in conjunction with the Colorado health service corps to expand and increase the loan repayments made pursuant to section 25-1.5-503.
(5)The BHA, in collaboration with the community college system, the department of higher education, and the work force development council created in section 24-46.3-101, and institutions of higher education shall create a new behavioral health-care educational program that provides tiered advancement opportunities for behavioral health-care providers at all levels, from advancement for individuals in entry-level positions to individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree.
(6)The BHA shall use the money appropriated by the general assembly to increase the number of peer support professionals across the state to ensure that a person struggling with a mental health disorder or a substance use disorder who is in need of assistance can connect with a peer support specialist who has had similar experiences living with a mental health disorder or a substance use disorder. The purpose of the peer support professional is to help people achieve their recovery goals through shared understanding, respect, and empowerment. Peer support professionals provide nonclinical support services that align with recommendations from the substance abuse and mental health services administration of the United States department of health and human services, including engaging individuals in peer-to-peer relationships that support healing, personal growth, life skills development, self-care, and crisis strategy development, to help achieve recovery, wellness, and life goals.
(7)The BHA shall include in the plan the recommendations of the director of the division of professions and occupations pursuant to section 12-20-103 (8).
(8)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The plan must include proposals to work with local law enforcement agencies, the P.O.S.T. board created in section 24-31-302, a peace officer organization, as defined in section 24-32-3501, a statewide organization representing professional firefighters, and a statewide association representing emergency medical service providers to:
(I)Cross-train current and former first responders in behavioral health;
(II)Help increase cultural competencies in first responders and law enforcement; and
(III)Reduce the stigma of receiving mental health services.
(b)The proposals implemented by the BHA pursuant to subsection (8)(a) of this section must include student loan repayment programs and scholarships for current and former first responders who have at least five years of first responder experience and mental health professionals who are committed to providing behavioral health services in local communities to first responders for at least five years.
(c)The BHA may coordinate and work in conjunction with the Colorado health service corps, as defined in section 25-1.5-502, to expand and increase the student loan repayments made pursuant to section 25-1.5-503.
(9)The plan shall include strategies to utilize Colorado-based behavioral health-care providers to expand telehealth capacity and infrastructure in order to prioritize timely access to behavioral health-care services and address service gaps.
(10)Through an interagency agreement, the BHA shall create a plan for collaboration between the BHA, the department of regulatory agencies, the department of public health and environment, the department of health care policy and financing, the department of education, the department of early childhood, and the department of labor and employment to raise awareness among health-care providers and behavioral health-care providers concerning the availability of opportunities to invest in and strengthen their professional behavioral health-care staff.
Section 27-60-302 — Behavioral health-care provider workforce plan - expansion - current workforce,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-27.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).