Restructuring California's Mental Health Workforce: Interviews with Key Stakeholders


Vincent Lok, Sharon Christian, Susan A. Chapman

Mar 2009

The mental health workforce is challenged to provide needed mental health services to a growing and increasingly diverse population in California. By interviewing stakeholders and reviewing key literature this report seeks to assess the supply, demand, education, training, and diversity of California’s mental health workforce. Severe shortages of some categories of providers, mal-distribution of the existing workforce, and limitations in scope of practice and financing, currently strain an already fragile delivery system. The infusion of MHSA funding, along with changes in consumer demand, calls for wider transition to models of care emphasizing wellness and recovery. The workforce needs further preparation to deliver services under these models and educators must address the current misalignment between education and training and the new models of care.