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Creating a Workforce to Support Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders

  • John W. McCormack Building One Ashburton Place Boston, MA (map)

Presenter: Richard Shepler, Ph.D, PCC-S is the Director of the Center for Innovative Practices (CIP) at the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at Case Western Reserve University

The Children’s Behavioral Health Knowledge Center at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health is convening a day-long forum and action planning session on building a co-occurring capable behavioral health workforce. While estimates suggest that between 50 to 75 percent of young people with a substance use disorder also experience a co-occurring mental illness, our systems are not organized to seamlessly meet the needs of these youth. Practitioners are usually trained in separate fields, operate under distinct licenses, and know relatively little about each other's organizational culture and operations. At this day-long event, attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Engage in a dialogue with young adults, families, providers, and policy makers about this issue.
  • Hear from a national expert about effective workforce strategies in other jurisdictions.
  • Begin to formulate specific recommendations for how to better meet the needs of youth with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. 

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