Changing Institutional Values and Diversifying the Behavioral Health Workforce

  • Stephanie Pinder-AmakerEmail author
  • Kimberlyn Leary
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)


Meeting the health care and behavioral health needs of the USA requires a diverse and culturally competent behavioral work force. With the US census projecting that minority persons will constitute the majority populations by 2044, there is an urgent need to close gaps in the recruitment into and retention in medical schools and doctoral programs in clinical, consulting, and health psychology. Intersectional models of engagement and mentoring exist. Training and service delivery programs that consider the whole person, including the cumulative impact of bias across identity parameters, offer the promise of reducing health disparities while supporting the conditions that are likely to attract a diverse behavioral workforce. This chapter describes workforce trends in behavioral health, reviews the gains and challenges of previous efforts to diversify science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields (which are also pathways to medical, psychiatry, and psychology training), and discusses best-practice exemplars that might enable behavioral health to serve an increasingly diverse America.


Behavior health care Workforce diversity Racial diversity STEM workforce Mental health disparities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McLean College Mental Health ProgramMcLean Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBelmontUSA
  2. 2.McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Policy and ManagementHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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