Ready to take the next step in your career? Visit the career center closest to you. Learn more.

San Diego County is facing a significant behavioral health (BH) worker shortage. This report estimates 17,000 BH professionals were employed in 11 key occupations in 2022. This is 8,000 workers short of the 25,000 needed. 

Public investment in behavioral health services at the federal, state, and local level continue to increase. Services for crisis care, homelessness prevention, substance use prevention and treatment services, expanded services in public schools and healthcare integration are all driving more demand for BH workers. Demographic trends are not helping; each year more San Diego workers retire than the year before as the “baby-boom” generation ages. In 2018, for example, about half of California’s psychiatrists are over 60 years of age (UCSF).

The convergence of these demographic trends, the global pandemic, growing mental health and substance use crises and historic public spending focused on expanding BH services raises a fundamental question: Is our regional Behavioral Health Workforce equipped to meet the need?

Connect With Us
Stay in the know

The Workforce Partnership is dedicated to providing San Diego Residents with the most up-to-date resources for finding a career.

Subscribe to our newsletter.