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International Scan: Highlights: Mental Health and Substance Use Health Workforce Strategies

The mental health and substance use health (MHSUH) impacts of COVID-19 and the overdose crisis have increased the gap between what the population needs and what the service system can provide. Now more than ever, Canada needs a MHSUH workforce strategy to coordinate planning across jurisdictions, provider types, and public and private sectors.

To identify planning trends in different countries, we conducted a rapid environmental scan of workforce strategies and reforms published between 2012 and 2023, identifying 311 policy documents and 39 academic papers in the United Kingdom (U.K.), Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, the United States, and Canada. The scan will inform Policy Options for a Pan Canadian MHSUH Workforce Strategy, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded project.

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