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NatCon20: COVID-19, Hiring and Onboarding, and CCBHCs

This week would have been NatCon20 – National Council for Behavioral Health’s annual conference. We were looking forward to being in Austin, TX, meeting new people, and sharing how we’ve been helping behavioral and community healthcare providers deliver better care to their clients and communities.

While COVID-19 may have changed our plans, it doesn’t change our desire to help healthcare providers.

Below we’re sharing the resources we would have had available at NatCon20 and our COVID-19 toolkit.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Influenza

Coronavirus UpdateThe well-being and safety of the individuals we serve is our top priority and will remain at the heart of every decision we make.

To help the fight against COVID-19, we’ve created a free digital resource for healthcare providers, How to Prepare for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Influenza: Training & Resources. The resource contains unlimited access to courses and fact-driven information regarding COVID-19 preparedness and prevention.

The page is updated frequently, so check back often for new courses, blog, webinars, and other information.

Hiring and Onboarding Behavioral Health Staff

Even when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic, finding and retaining behavioral health staff can be a challenge for healthcare organizations. And it doesn’t help that we’re projected to have a shortage of 250,000 behavioral health professionals by 2025.

Despite existing and projected workforce shortages and a worldwide pandemic, there are things you can do to improve your hiring and onboarding process:

  • Update your careers page to share info on your mission, your clients, and your community (right now, you could add info on how your organization is prepared to help staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Ask the right interview questions to learn more about a candidate’s experience and fit
  • Leverage SAAS tools (like an LMS) to expedite onboarding and reduce time-to-floor

Using better hiring and onboarding tactics, like those mentioned above, you can also improve your staff retention. Staff members are more likely to stay at an organization where they’re engaged, given ongoing professional development opportunities, and feel appreciated.

We created the guide, How to Be an Employer of Choice When You’re Short on Time and High on Turnover, to walk you through the various ways you can improve hiring and onboarding at your healthcare practice.

Becoming an employer of choice means creating and maintaining a work environment that healthcare staff want to work at – and will stay at because they believe in the mission, organization, and people surrounding them. Being an employer of choice might seem far-fetched given today’s healthcare reality, however it is possible and can lead to happier staff members and a happier, healthier community.

Other resources on hiring, onboarding and retention:

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs)

Earlier this year, SAMHSA announced that clinics in all 50 states are eligible to apply for the CCBHC Expansion Grant. This huge announcement opens the door for providers to offer mental health and substance use disorder services to more communities across the country.

However, becoming a CCBHC is no simple feat. Interested clinics were required to submit their application by March 10 – and affirm that they could be set up and ready to provide services within four months of receiving their award.

Relias works with many existing CCBHCs to ensure their staff is up-to-date on the latest in person-centered care, trauma-informed care, substance use disorder, mental health disorders, and more. Below is a sample training plan and other resources to help you become or maintain CCBHC status

We know that hiring, retention, and CCBHC service requirements might not be at the front of your mind in the midst of this pandemic, however the resources are here for you when you’re ready to review.

In the meantime, leverage our COVID-19 digital toolkit to help you and your staff prepare and fight Coronavirus on the front lines.


Stay Up To Date on COVID-19

Relias will continue to keep you informed with resources to aid pandemic preparedness and infection prevention to deter the spread of disease.


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