Elizabeth Morrison and Alli Moreno

2023 Steinberg Institute Champions

Elizabeth Morrison & Alli Moreno

These Champions are bringing innovative solutions to California’s behavioral health workforce shortage

Having trouble finding a therapist or psychiatrist? You are not alone. There is currently a severe shortage of behavioral health professionals in California. It was a challenge before the pandemic, and now it is a crisis. 

Enter Elizabeth Morrison and Alli Moreno of EM Consulting. In 2021, this team launched the Lay Counselor Academy, a training program to help alleviate the crisis. Elizabeth and Alli are focused on training non-licensed professionals who are already helping people, like case managers, teachers and community health workers. The students don’t become licensed therapists but walk away with a personal toolkit to address potential mental health needs. About 60 people have gone through the academy since its launch. 

Elizabeth Morrison and Alli Moreno of EM Consulting, and the Lay Counselor Academy team
Video by Autumn Payne of Ethical Narrative, Photography by Tamara Knox of Ethical Narrative

Beyond the workforce shortage, one of the program’s goals is to bring more diversity into mental health counseling. White men have historically dominated the field of psychology, and Elizabeth and Alli work to ensure that their students represent California’s diverse populations. 

Our workforce shortage translates into too many people not finding the care they need, so we honor Elizabeth and Alli for their bold approach.

Start typing and press Enter to search

Transforming California's mental health and substance use care systems through education, advocacy, accountability, and inspired leadership.