Psychiatric Services podcast features CHSE study on behavioral health workforce challenges

Policy analyst and co-author Eliza Hallett shares interview findings with "From Pages to Practice"

Headshot of Eliza Hallett
CHSE Policy Analyst Eliza Hallett talked behavioral health workforce on the Psychiatry Services journal podcast.

While wages have been a major focus in discussions of behavioral health workforce supply, CHSE's recent paper highlighting other factors in provider career satisfaction and sustainability struck a nerve, eliciting attention in public health and provider circles. CHSE co-author and policy analyst Eliza Hallett continued the conversation this month in an appearance on Psychiatric Services' "From Pages to Practice" podcast.

Co-hosts Lisa Dixon and Josh Berezin, both clinicians, spoke with Hallett about the gap in medical workforce research that the study addresses, and the commonalities highlighted in the paper that ring true to their own experiences in the field. CHSE's paper, "Factors Influencing Turnover and Attrition in the Public Behavioral Health System Workforce: Qualitative Study," appeared in the Psychiatric Services' June edition. 

Dr. Dixon lauded the power of qualitative interviews, used in the study, to add experiential context to statistical and quantitative findings. Hallett agreed, noting that the study had started as an investigation of wages and reimbursement rates for public system behavioral health providers, but had expanded in response to provider feedback and ultimately included factors such as administrative burden, lack of professional development and promotion opportunities, and a chronically traumatic work environment.

Hallett’s take-home message for listeners was that while the recent attention and funding for a system in crisis is welcome, she hopes other more long-term issues like career development and infrastructure issues will stay in the forefront of policymakers’ minds. Drs. Dixon and Berezin agreed that the paper's recommendations would create not only a more positive and sustainable work environment for behavioral health providers, but also a better environment for patients to seek treatment.

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