Beacon Health Options Awards nearly $1.5M to Southwest and North Central WA Providers to Support Behavioral Health

Grants Will Help Develop Recruiting and Retention Programs to Strengthen the Workforce

VANCOUVER, Wash. – July 26, 2021 To help address critical behavioral health workforce shortages, Beacon Health Options is granting nearly $1.5 million to essential community providers in the Southwest and North Central regions. Providers will use the funds to retain current staff and recruit new staff.

Beacon is keenly aware of the significant behavioral health workforce shortage across Washington State and the shortage’s impact on ensuring delivery of key services within our communities. As the Washington Health Care Authority noted in its recent Workforce Challenges and Solutions Report, behavioral health agencies often have 20% vacancy rates and filling open positions takes up to five months on average. Crisis services and programs that serve people with high-acuity conditions, especially in rural areas, can be particularly difficult to retain and recruit experienced staff.

“Supporting providers in their workforce recruitment and retention goals is an essential part of Beacon’s role as the local behavioral health crisis administrator,” said Leah Becknell, Beacon’s Regional Director. “This program allows us to continue to help improve people’s health and well-being so they can live a life of recovery, resiliency and independence.”

Funding can be used in a variety of ways, including as a one-time hiring bonus for new staff, relocation assistance for moving-related expenses, stipends and pay differentials to staff for providing high acuity or crisis services outside normal business hours.

“As our communities emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for accessible and quality behavioral health treatment will grow exponentially. To meet this current and future demand we will need a trained workforce,” said Jared Sanford, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lifeline Connections. “Beacon’s investment in the local behavioral health workforce couldn’t have come at a better time and will allow us to make progress in meeting this demand for treatment services.”  

Workforce Investment funds have been released to the following organizations:

  • American Behavioral Health Services
  • Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington
  • Catholic Community Services of Western Washington
  • Clark County Crisis Services
  • Columbia River Mental Health Services
  • Comprehensive Healthcare
  • Grant Integrated Services
  • Lifeline Connections
  • Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare
  • SeaMar-CSNW
  • Skamania County Community Health
  • The Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Beacon began serving the Southwest Washington Regional Service Area in 2016 and the North Central Regional Service Area in 2018. Beacon administers behavioral health crisis services for all individuals in these Regional Service Areas regardless of their insurance status or income level, as well as additional non-crisis services for eligible individuals who lack insurance coverage. For additional information, visit wa.beaconhealthoptions.com.

About Beacon Health Options

Beacon Health Options is a leading behavioral health services company serving 1 out of 6 people across all 50 states. We work with employers, health plans and government agencies to support mental health and emotional wellbeing, substance use disorder recovery, and employee health programs that improve the health and wellness of people every day. Our multi-modal, insights driven approach allows us to integrate social, behavioral and physical health solutions to drive improved outcomes for everyone we serve. By collaborating with a network of providers in communities around the country, we help individuals live their lives to the fullest potential. For more information, visit www.beaconhealthoptions.com and connect with us on www.facebook.com/beaconhealthoptions www.twitter.com/beaconhealthopt and www.linkedin.com/company/beacon-health-options