What is it about?

To improve our practices of today and to overcome the problems that confront us at present, the behavioral health field must anticipate what the future is likely to bring. Such foresight is particularly important right now because of the changes and disruptions that have occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three years. This article provides an overview of the future of behavioral health.

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Why is it important?

At the present time, the prevalence of mental illness and substance use conditions, and the related workforce crisis in this field represent major national issues. The present manuscript provides historical background on the development of the mental health field, the current status of behavioral health, and some likely future directions. This framework is essential to understand and address this major public policy issue.


I have been working toward a desired future for behavioral health for many decades. I am optimistic and hopeful about the future that is just around the corner.

Ron Manderscheid
University of Southern California

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Stepping into the future of behavioral health: Opportunities, challenges, and possibilities., American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, April 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/ort0000743.
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