Mental Health Awareness Month is designed to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness – and their families. With so many non-profits focused on supporting and providing services to those living with mental illness, we wanted to know what their biggest stressors are right now.

So, for the May edition of our quarterly non-profit roundtable series, we assembled a group of financial leaders from local behavioral health organizations for knowledge sharing, support, and thought leadership on industry challenges and trends. Here’s what they had to say.

Issue #1 – Finding and Retaining Talent

During the Great Resignation, it’s not surprising that one of the greatest stressors they’re facing pertains to finding and retaining talent. Non-profit behavioral health providers have always had a difficult time competing with area hospital and health networks for skilled and licensed staff.

Competition for recruiting and retaining is currently at an all-time high, with non-profits at a clear disadvantage when it comes to matching salaries offered by for-profit businesses and hospitals.

The State of Ohio announced a proposal in May 2022 to grow Ohio’s behavioral healthcare workforces through various financial investments and incentives.  However, agencies are struggling with their immediate staffing needs and are exploring ways to adapt to the marketplace through nontraditional benefit offerings for their employees.

Issue #2 – Forecasting the Future

The community need for behavioral health services remains high, with no end in sight.  Throughout the pandemic, agencies have been supporting these needs largely through financial assistance from Federal, state, and local government funding sources.

But in the current regulatory and staffing environment and with the country returning to a perceived state of “normal,” and that funding assistance ends, leaders are feeling increased anxiety over how their non-profit behavioral health agencies will support their operating needs. Finding a better balance between agency margin and community needs is a topic of serious consideration.

Issue #3 – Navigating the Complexities of Funding Compliance and Reporting

Understanding the qualifications of various funding opportunities and compliance requirements attached to these new funding sources has been complex and ambiguous.

Sometimes funds are provided with very little explanation or guidelines attached.  Especially when it comes to Federal funding sources, the annual Compliance Supplement published each year by the Office of Management and Budget may be a good reference tool.

Join the Conversation

Our next quarterly non-profit roundtable will be held in the summer of 2022.  Want to be part of the conversation?  Please contact Rachael Cruse at rcruse@barnesdennig.com

If you’re a non-profit struggling with these same issues, the Barnes Dennig team of top non-profit financial professionals is here to help.  Contact us for a free consultation.