The behavioral health industry is facing a workforce shortage. As behavioral health problems are becoming less stigmatized, more people are reaching out to receive care. It is positive news that people are seeking help, however at the same time, meeting the needs of the population is becoming harder to do with existing workforce strategies. There is one growing trend that, coupled with a vibrant telehealth strategy, can improve access to care and strengthen business opportunities. That trend is the move toward professional licensure compacts. One very important compact is known as the Counseling Compact.
In Part I of this series, we explored the dynamic changes in the regulatory and business landscape within the behavioral health industry since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. One significant obstacle to effective and accessible substance use treatment has been the presence of outdated and ineffective regulations.
As the United States is faced with one of its most formidable modern challenges, the widespread infectious disease known as COVID-19, behavioral health executives and investors are faced with the question of how best to respond. There are concerns about the future of the economy and even a possible recession. These concerns are valid. In addition, people are being asked, and in some cases required, to practice social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. There are various reasons, however, that now is the time to invest in behavioral health startup and program expansions.