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The Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative

Overview

House Bill 4071 (2022) and House Bill 2949 (2021) direct the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to increase the recruitment and retention of behavioral health providers who:

  • Are people of color, tribal members, or residents of rural areas of Oregon, and
  • Can provide culturally responsive care for diverse communities.

To do this, OHA created the Behavioral Health Workforce InitiatIve. The initiative's funding includes:

  • $60 million to develop a diverse behavioral health workforce in licensed and non-licensed occupations through scholarships, loan repayment, retention and peer workforce development.
  • $20 million for grants to licensed behavioral health providers to provide supervised clinical experience to associates or other individuals so they may obtain a license to practice. 

Goals

  • Increase behavioral health system capacity to provide care that deeply embeds practices and promotes principles of health equity, cultural responsiveness, de-stigmatization of services, restorative healing and community empowerment.
  • Develop and invest in a culturally specific workforce and increase access to culturally responsive services and interventions.
  • Engage communities through shared decision-making to build structures, processes, resources and supports for increasing recruitment and retention of a culturally specific behavioral health workforce.

Types of Incentives

  • Clinical supervision grants
  • Scholarships: Funding training through community-based providers
  • Student loan repayment
  • Child care assistance
  • Housing assistance
  • Training, professional development, and recruitment/retention bonuses for the peer workforce

The Behavioral Health Community Leadership Council

The council is a body of diverse behavioral health professionals who work with OHA to administer House Bill 2949. The council's aims is to bring representation and lived experience from Oregon's diverse communities to help guide and improve culturally specific and equitable services to Oregon's underserved communities.

Keep Informed

Get updates about the initiative by text or email

Current Opportunities

Workforce Bonus and Housing Stipend Incentives: Applications due 3 p.m.  Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022

Funds to Develop Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Projects to Support Oregon's Peer Workforce: Applications due 11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Learn more at OHA's information sessions:

  • Nov. 30, 2022, 3 to 4:30 p.m. - Click to join or call 1-669-254-5252 (Meeting ID: 160 761 6304, Passcode: 086624)
  • Dec. 8, 2022, 3:30 to 5 p.m. - Click to join or call 1-669-254-5252 (Meeting ID: 161 648 8599, Passcode: 243878)

Behavioral Health Loan Repayment: Applications due 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, 2023

Resources

Behavioral Health Workforce Report (2/1/2022)

Oregon's Health Care Workforce (February 2021 needs assessment)

House Bill 2949 (2021)

House Bill 4071 (2022)

Oregon Revised Statutes 675.650 through 675.664 (Behavioral Health Care Workforce)

Contact Us

Email the Behavioral Health Workforce Incentive team