Behavioral Healthcare — the Demanding, Rewarding Career Too Few Choose
While the rates of deaths and devastation wrought by ongoing addiction and mental health crises are unprecedented, these problems have always been with us.
Despite estimated one-trillion-dollar productivity losses from depression and anxiety and $215 billion productivity losses from addiction annually, treatment resources are vastly outweighed by the need. A major problem is too few people are becoming behavioral health professionals. According to the Commonwealth Fund, “In 2021, fewer than half of people with a mental illness were able to access timely care; those with substance use disorders were even less likely.” Workforce shortages are cited as the primary cause of treatment inaccessibility. The Association of American Medical Colleges reported in 2022 that the country will soon”...be short between 14,280 and 31,109 psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and others…”
Behavioral healthcare careers can be very challenging. Frontline workers, like psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists, experience high rates of burnout. In 2022, 46 percent of psychologists felt unable to meet the demand for care, and 45 percent felt burned out, according to the American Psychological Association. Compassion fatigue, heavy administrative paperwork requirements, compliance-related issues, insurance claim management, and even hard-to-use electronic health record systems make a tough job even harder. Almost 60 percent of therapists stay in the same job for less than two years.
High-quality treatment provider organizations, and even smaller private practices, recognize the need to support clinicians and other team members to create workplaces and teams that reduce fatigue and increase longevity. Treatment providers committed to maintaining long-term employees and building expertise are committed to developing healthy and supportive cultures and fostering safety, openness, and personal wellness. Treatment organizations also do well to remember that many healthcare workers feel a calling to this work that helps them endure its inherent challenges. Designing practices and procedures that honor and protect this sense of calling can reduce stress and create client-centered environments in which practitioners feel supported and able to do high-quality work.
Direct caregivers are one behavioral healthcare role among many. Many treatment provider organizations, but especially those operating extended care residential and intensive outpatient levels of care, require numerous positions, including managers and directors, case managers, compliance and insurance utilization specialists, outreach and admissions professionals, wellness experts, nutritionists and chefs, recovery coaches and recovery peer support specialists, and more. Every member of these teams is vital to supporting the program’s treatment mission and creating a therapeutically-centered environment conducive to client success and clinical excellence.
Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat is led by experienced professionals who have gained experience at some of the nation’s leading behavioral healthcare institutions. When acquiring the program and planning its expansion, this team knew that creating a clinically-focused and supportive environment was crucial to clinician longevity and client outcomes.
“The trauma-integrated care model developed by Dr. Barnes requires an operation completed organized around the goals of reducing retraumatization and supporting perceived safety. We must put this theory into practice for clinicians as well as clients. To be effective at treatment, we also must treat one another well,” says Chief Operating Officer Tom Walker.
“We offer very competitive pay and benefits, pay for continuing education and personal development, provide ample vacation and paid leave time, offer free access to wellness services, and generally create an open environment where our team members feel open about sharing and feeling supported,” says Human Resource Manager Amanda Lacey.
Other Foundry Steamboat team members recognize the benefits of working with colleagues who support their aspirations. Outreach & Special Projects Manager Amber King felt supported to spearhead a novel initiative rooted in a personal passion. “When Amanda and I proposed organizing treatment providers in rural communities, the team was immediately receptive and supportive. Our personal passions drive this project to bring resources to communities like the ones we grew up in, and that lack adequate care. Not many employers would be so open to allocating the time and resources, and fewer would realize that supporting this project is actually supporting and rewarding us by doing something we love.”
Access to leading experts and training is another advantage of working at Foundry Steamboat and other high-caliber providers. Foundry Steamboat provides internship opportunities for rising healthcare professionals. It is a place where leading thinkers and practitioners with decades of experience share their insights and help others learn and grow.
Behavioral healthcare is a demanding job but a deeply helpful profession. Some of the most rewarding aspects of this work are seeing individual lives saved and families salvaged, clients celebrating recovery anniversaries, and the future prospects of generations changed.
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Call today to get started on your journey or if you have any questions.(844) 955 1066