Developing the Mental Health Workforce: Review and Application of Training Approaches from Multiple Disciplines

  • Aaron R. LyonEmail author
  • Shannon Wiltsey Stirman
  • Suzanne E. U. Kerns
  • Eric J. Bruns
Original Paper


Strategies specifically designed to facilitate the training of mental health practitioners in evidence-based practices (EBPs) have lagged behind the development of the interventions themselves. The current paper draws from an interdisciplinary literature (including medical training, adult education, and teacher training) to identify useful training and support approaches as well as important conceptual frameworks that may be applied to training in mental health. Theory and research findings are reviewed, which highlight the importance of continued consultation/support following training workshops, congruence between the training content and practitioner experience, and focus on motivational issues. In addition, six individual approaches are presented with careful attention to their empirical foundations and potential applications. Common techniques are highlighted and applications and future directions for mental health workforce training and research are discussed.


Training Uptake Workforce development Implementation Dissemination 



This publication was made possible in part by grant number F32 MH086978 from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), awarded to the first author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron R. Lyon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shannon Wiltsey Stirman
    • 2
    • 3
  • Suzanne E. U. Kerns
    • 4
  • Eric J. Bruns
    • 4
  1. 1.Child Health InstituteUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.National Center for PTSD and VA Boston Healthcare SystemBostonUSA
  3. 3.Boston UniversityWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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