The BHWC will increase access to effective behavioral health services through coordinated initiatives to recruit, educate, and retain professionals in behavioral health.

During the spring 2018 legislative session, a bipartisan group of 10 legislators sponsored resolution House Resolution 711, which declared that Illinois is suffering from a behavioral healthcare workforce emergency.

The center will coordinate with key state agencies involved in behavioral health, workforce development, and higher education.

Executive Committee Members​​

Executive Committee Members​​

Learn More

Learn more about the Behavioral Health Workforce Center’s team of executive committee members.

The Behavioral Health Workforce Center was established to increase Illinois’ capacity to recruit, educate and retain behavioral health professionals, from peer support specialists to psychiatrists. A primary goal of the Center is to be a statewide resource for workforce development opportunities, as well as data and information for those working to expand access to careers in behavioral health programs and services. Partner organizations will work with a network of state universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, mental health providers, and behavioral health provider associations and organizations to build the behavioral health workforce for the future.

Center Goals

The primary goals of the statewide Behavioral Health Workforce Center are to strengthen the behavioral healthcare system in Illinois through initiatives targeting the following:

1. Policy recommendations that address structural and policy barriers to recruitment, training, and retention.
2. Data collection on behavioral health workforce needs.
3. Diversity and equity initiatives to increase the number and diversity of behavioral health workers across the state.
Capacity building for primary care physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, and nurses to meet behavioral health and substance abuse use needs.