4 Areas of Focus for a Likely Contentious 2024

From Behavioral Healthcare Executive by Ron Manderscheid, PhD

As mental health issues continue to rise, this enlightening piece by Dr. Ron Manderscheid, a renowned figure in the behavioral healthcare field, outlines the anticipated challenges and solutions for the sector in 2024. The article presents a detailed view of the imminent workforce crisis, development of essential crisis services, the important new programs, and the civic responsibilities within the sphere of behavioral healthcare. Dr. Manderscheid's insights echo the urgency for inventive local and national strategies to address the dearth of professional providers and enhance existing services such as the 988 crisis hotline. His emphasis on consolidating the gains of successful programs like the federal Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics program resonates strongly with InterAct LifeLine's mission of using technology to promote behavioral health.

In my view, this article is a clarion call to the behavioral healthcare sector to take necessary steps towards overcoming the impending challenges. The need to redefine and consolidate our efforts, especially in crisis services, cannot be overstated. The crisis hotline 988, for instance, is an invaluable resource that remains greatly underutilized. Ensuring the reach and effectiveness of such services could be instrumental in lowering suicide rates and promoting mental wellness. It's equally important to safeguard and foster new programs like CCBHCs that have shown promise in addressing behavioral health problems in our communities.

Here are our key takeaways from the article:

  1. Addressing the workforce crisis remains a paramount concern; innovative solutions at local and national levels are imminent.
  2. Efforts to improve the 988 crisis service, including increasing public awareness and developing local crisis response activities, are high priorities.
  3. Further financial resources are needed to fill gaps in crisis services, particularly in rural communities and among the elderly.
  4. Continued growth of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics program is anticipated; providing evidence of its effectiveness is crucial.
  5. Behavioral healthcare professionals should demonstrate good citizenship, particularly through active voting.
  6. Active participation in the broader community can sway the balance of the year's events towards the positive.
  7. Encouraging others in the field to vote is a powerful response to political challenges.
  8. Local community functioning could be improved through self-empowerment strategies.
  9. The high rate of suicide among elderly Americans suggests that crisis services are not effectively reaching this group.
  10. Efforts to modify negative life determinants could reduce the prevalence of acute behavioral health conditions.

4 Areas of Focus for a Likely Contentious 2024

From Behavioral Healthcare Executiveby Ron Manderscheid, PhD

"This coming year promises to be a very tumultuous one—an extremely contentious presidential election, major divisions in the House and Senate over the appropriate federal role, and general unrest among citizens, with concern that our society is not moving in a good direction. In this very unpredictable context, what can we expect in 2024 for behavioral healthcare?

Clearly, behavioral healthcare has its own internal issues that require action, and it also must be attentive to the broader political environment to sustain progress we have made in the past several years. Within this nexus, several major foci seem likely in 2024."

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