A new national workforce survey from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, conducted by The Harris Poll, finds the mental health and substance use care workforce is facing an exodus of workers and demanding immediate action from lawmakers.

National Council surveyed 750 behavioral health care workers and more than 2,000 U.S. adults in early February to assess the state of the workforce; specifically, how workforce shortages have impacted the field. Click on the button to learn more:

Press Release and Data

An increased demand for care, workforce shortages, client caseloads and burnout all contribute to the burden placed on behavioral health workers today, according to respondents:

  • The vast majority (83%) of the nation’s behavioral health workforce believes that without public policy changes, provider organizations won’t be able to meet the demand for care.
  • Around nine in 10 behavioral health workers are concerned about the ability of those not currently receiving care to gain access to care (90%), and the ability to provide care in the event of another health crisis in the future (87%).
  • Nearly two in three (65%) reported increased client caseload, and more than seven in 10 (72%) reported increased client severity since the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • More than nine in 10 behavioral health workers (93%) said they have experienced burnout, and a majority report suffering from moderate or severe levels of burnout (62%).
  • Nearly half (48%) of behavioral health workers say the impacts of workforce shortages have caused them to consider other employment options.