Friday, September 23, 2022 Categories:
Behavioral Health

Organizations and agencies are gathering in Bismarck early next week to discuss solutions to the state’s growing behavioral health workforce shortage.

North Dakota’s Health and Human Services agency, the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, public and private providers and other stakeholders are hosting a Behavioral Health Workforce Summit and Strategic Planning event on Monday, Sept. 26, 1-5 p.m. CT and Tuesday, Sept. 27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CT at the Ramada by Wyndham in Bismarck. The public is invited to attend.

“North Dakota, like most other states in the nation, is experiencing behavioral health workforce challenges,” said Behavioral Health Executive Director Pamela Sagness. “Our goal during this summit is to have solution-focused discussions and develop recommendations on how the state can strengthen its behavioral health workforce.”

Recently, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education completed a discovery report highlighting various behavioral health workforce initiatives in North Dakota. During the summit, officials from WICHE will present their findings, provide training on workforce best practices and facilitate discussion on the development of a North Dakota behavioral health workforce strategic plan.

“Summit participants will come from all across the state and represent private practice and public service and have first-hand experience working with people who have behavioral health needs,” said Center for Rural Health Program Director Rebecca Quinn. “They will come from academic institutions, hospitals, clinics, public health, corrections, rehabilitation, and other areas that are focused on improving the health of North Dakotans.”

To attend the summit, individuals can preregister online at or register at the door. There is no cost to attend. To date, 60 people have registered for the event.

Individuals who need disability accommodations to participate can contact Julie Huwe at (701) 328-8920, 711 (TTY) or

For more information on the summit, visit