The Ad-Hoc System Change Committee for Workforce Retention is a crucial initiative established by the MHR Board. The primary purpose of the committee is to analyze and address the challenges faced in retaining a skilled and dedicated workforce in the mental health and addiction continuum of care. Recognizing the importance of community participation, the committee actively seeks input and collaboration from various stakeholders to create effective and sustainable solutions to improve workforce retention.
The committee aims to identify the key factors contributing to workforce attrition in the field and develop targeted strategies to enhance retention. The focus is on evaluating existing policies and practices, identifying gaps, and proposing evidence-based recommendations to foster a supportive work environment for mental health and addiction professionals. This is crucial for maintaining continuity of care, reducing the burden on existing staff, and ultimately improving the quality of services provided to individuals and families affected by mental health and addiction issues.
Community participation is vital in the committee’s endeavors for several reasons:
- Diverse Perspectives: Engaging stakeholders from different backgrounds and areas of expertise allows the committee to gather a wide range of perspectives on the challenges faced by mental health and addiction professionals. This enables the development of more comprehensive and inclusive strategies for workforce retention.
- Collaboration and Support: By involving community members, the committee can foster a sense of shared responsibility and collaboration, creating a network of support to help implement and sustain the proposed changes.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Community input ensures that the committee’s recommendations are culturally sensitive and relevant to the specific needs and preferences of various populations served by the mental health and addiction services sector.
- Increased Trust: Engaging the community in the decision-making process helps build trust and confidence in the government’s commitment to addressing workforce retention challenges in mental health and addiction services.
- Recovery Housing
- Behavioral Health Redesign
- Workforce Retention
The Workforce Retention Group developed six proposals one of which was approved for SFY23 – The Workforce Incentive Fund
Workforce Incentive Fund
MHR will financially support and administer a Workforce Incentive Fund that would provide grants to its primary network of care providers to fund incentives to support workforce recruitment and retention. Grant funds would not support ongoing base pay or salary levels. Within MHR guidelines, each provider could make their own internal determination on where the extra funding could best make a positive difference with their staffing support strategy, i.e., merit incentives, longevity incentives, signing bonuses, target position supports, employee benefit enhancements, training, morale activities, self-care programming.
MHR will determine grant amounts proportionate to the staffing size of different providers. Since the Board is statutorily limited to one-year contracts, the grant funds and the incentives/benefits it supports should be considered one-time allocations since the sustainability would be subject to fund availability. At the same time, the Board should make every effort to make this a multi-year initiative. For example, within the MHRLK funding priority, the Board could indicate the Workforce Incentive Fund is a high priority which increases the probability of multi-year funding.
By leveraging community participation, the Ad-Hoc System Change Committee for Workforce Retention strives to create meaningful and lasting improvements in the mental health and addiction continuum of care, benefiting both professionals and the individuals they serve.