In largely rural states, such as Alaska, there have been historic difficulties in recruiting and retaining an effective behavioral health workforce. The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health described in detail the significant problems facing mental or behavioral health systems throughout the country. Indications are that shortages will become more severe in the next decade, and that professionals will need to have new skills to work in a more integrated behavioral health environment.
The ABIN and partners recognize that a strong system of services that are timely and efficient will be dependent on interagency collaboration, common goals, and defined outcomes. Data across systems will be needed to assess progress toward the overall goal of this plan, which is to improve existing systems and expand services.