Weld County is currently experiencing a high demand for behavioral health services while also seeing a workforce shortage in this profession. The shortage of licensed professionals may result in individuals not connecting with the services they need. The Weld Trust is trying to help address this issue with their behavioral health grants.
Behavioral Health is one of The Weld Trust’s seven Key Funding Initiatives aimed to help improve the lives of Weld County residents. The Weld Trust recently provided a grant to North Range Behavioral Health to help meet the increasing demand for services while simultaneously dealing with a shortage in licensed mental health professionals.
North Range Behavioral Health provides a wide array of behavioral health services for youth and adults throughout Weld County. In 2021, North Range served nearly 17,000 unique individuals.
North Range has had as many as 60-80 positions vacant at any given time for the last year which has significantly restricted their ability to expand their workforce beyond pre-pandemic service levels.
With the grant awarded by The Weld Trust, North Range is working to expand their services for youth, and individuals in crisis. They intend to recruit additional professionals with a bachelor’s degree to provide system navigation, engagement strategies, and various therapeutic services that do not require a master’s degree, allowing licensed providers to dedicate more time to direct patient treatment. Additionally, they plan to create more Peer Specialist opportunities with individuals who have a “lived experience” of behavioral health concerns or treatment. The Peer Specialists have historically given hope to those in need as a shining example that treatment works.
Due to the high demand for master’s holding professionals, North Range also plans to begin identifying employees currently holding a bachelor’s degree with dreams of higher education. They will work directly with UNC and CSU to align financial assistance and reduce barriers that have prohibited the continuation of education previously. Successful graduates will then be placed in a Mental Health Clinician role.
With The Weld Trust grant, North Range is creating career pathways for behavioral health workers while expanding the necessary staff resources to reach the community.