Staffing Shortages Survey for SB County

Recent surveys and qualitative data underscore the impact of the behavioral health staffing shortage on access to mental health services throughout Santa Barbara County. While it is generally understood that there are not enough providers to meet the mental health needs of the community, the specifics of these shortages need to be better understood.

Specifically, it is not known if these shortages are within a specific position type, type of organization, setting, geographical region, type of service delivery model, language offering, etc. Furthermore, it is unclear how many vacancies there are, the educational/licensure requirements of these openings, the wage ranges for these positions, and the other skill requirements for these positions.

In October 2022, Santa Barbara’s Department of Behavioral Wellness, YouthWell, Santa Barbara Foundation, and The Towbes Foundation launched a survey to better understand the behavioral health staffing shortages, inform the next steps, and identify potential solutions. The executive summary summarizes the findings from this survey and outlines recommendations for policymakers, funders, employers, and training/educational programs. The full report provides a more detailed account of the data findings.

Behavioral Health Staffing Shortages 2022-2023 Executive Summary >  •   Full Report >

Currently one of the challenges of getting services for youth is not having enough staff to fill the positions. Community organizations shared job openings at the time of the survey and YouthWell is working with our community partners to keep an updated list of Job Opportunities in Santa Barbara County related to behavioral health