Workforce in BH/SA Services Discussion at JCHC

September 21, 2021

The Joint Commission on Health Care took up a discussion today on the issue of workforce in the Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services arena.  While the discussion did not produce any concrete, actionable suggestions, there was an interesting presentation by Dr. Gerard Lawson about Professional Counseling licensure in Virginia.  It is worth reviewing for a couple of reasons:


  • He pointed out the difficulty in finding an agency where a post-graduate can receive the 200 hours of supervision required – and he detailed the array of poor options that post-graduates have to allow them to complete all the requirements. And
  • He presented data as a “snapshot” which shows nearly 17,000 registered QMHPs – approximately the number of LPCs, LM&FT and LCSWs combined.  His concern was that case assignment is based on staff availability vs level of need of the individual and that we are creating an environment of “fail first” before we select the more appropriate level of support. 

JCHC does not have any specific legislation in this area on their agenda, but it is always good to know what they have “heard!”