NNED Virtual Roundtable: Creating and Enhancing Pathways to a Racially / Ethnically Diverse Behavioral Health Workforce

2021 Virtual Roundtable Series: Community-Based Organizations Build Pathways to Behavioral Health Equity for Communities of Color

Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial disparities, community-based organizations (CBOs) have elevated their response to the behavioral health needs of racially/ethnically diverse communities. The 2021 National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED) Virtual Roundtable three-part series presents the innovative and resilient work of CBOs in a time of healing and recovery.

Part 3 – Creating and Enhancing Pathways to a Racially/Ethnically Diverse Behavioral Health Workforce

Join this NNED Virtual Roundtable to hear about strategies that motivate racially/ethnically diverse individuals to consider behavioral health as a career path. Discover how community-based organizations are working to diversify the behavioral health workforce including recruiting and retaining racially/ethnically diverse staff. Learn from panelists about professional pathways and programs/trainings that support racially/ethnically diverse people in behavioral health careers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance and impact of a racially/ethnically diverse behavioral health workforce.
  • Examine how community-based organizations can create career development experiences in behavioral health such as internships and trainings for racially/ethnically diverse people.
  • Identify national and regional programs for professional pathways that support racially/ethnically diverse people in behavioral health careers.
  • Learn about strategies to promote the behavioral healthcare field to make it more inviting and interesting to racially/ethnically diverse young people.

Population(s) of Focus: Underserved and Racially/Ethnically Diverse Community-Based Organizations

Access the Recording and Materials:


Additional Programs:

  • Check out the NNED Professional Development page for more opportunities.
  • Learn about the Welcome Back Initiative, which is working to bridge between the pool of internationally trained health workers already living in the United States and the need for linguistically and culturally competent health services in underserved communities.
  • Learn about the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
    • Check out the HRSA Health Workforce Connector – Connecting Skilled Health Professionals to Communities in Need
    • Learn about the HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Paraprofessionals
    • Learn about funding opportunities from the HRSA Health Workforce
  • Learn about the The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Workforce Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
  • Learn about the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center at the University of Michigan, which does research to produce a workforce to meet the nation’s behavioral health needs
  • Learn about the Behavioral/Mental Health Pipeline from the California Health Workforce Initiative

Additional Resources Around the Behavioral Health Workforce:

  • View the recording and resources from NNED Virtual Roundtable – Workplace Environment Matters: Strategies to Support & Retain Behavioral Health Staff Providing Services to Diverse Ethnic and Racial Populations
  • Check out the page How to Use Your Social Work Degree to Help Decriminalize Mental Illness from GradSchoolHub.
  • Check out the Health Workforce Policy Brief – Behavioral Health Workforce Challenges: Recruitment, Retention, and Work Environment by the Behavioral Health Workforce Center
  • Check out the Factors Impacting the Development of a Diverse Behavioral Health Workforce Report by the Behavioral Health Workforce Center
  • Check out the Behavioral Health Implementation Guide for The National Standards for Culturally And Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care from the Office of Minority Health

2021 NNED Virtual Roundtable Series

Contact Information for the Opening Presenter, Panelists, and the Facilitator:

Date: 2021