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Stephanie Pellitt

Policy and Advocacy Associate

HRSA Releases Grants to Strengthen Behavioral Health Workforce

April 13, 2017 | ACA | Comments
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On Wednesday, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released applications for the FY 2017 Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program. The agency plans to award up to 150 grants totaling $44 million to increase the number of behavioral health providers serving populations across the lifespan, particularly in rural and underserved areas. While behavioral health providers cannot apply directly for the funds, award recipients will need to partner with community providers to ensure job placement and internship opportunities for students.

The aim of the BHWET program is to close the treatment gap for individuals who are in need of mental health and addiction services but cannot access services due to limited system capacity. Accredited institutions of higher education or accredited behavioral health professional training programs (including programs for paraprofessionals and peers) will have until June 12, 2017 to apply for the funds.

BHWET grantees will be required to establish partnerships with a broad range of organizations and community partners (such as community mental health and addiction treatment providers) to ensure a wide recruitment of students, opportunities for field placements, career development, and provide job and internship placement services. The announcement also includes emphasis on placing students at locations that are working toward or have instituted the integration of behavioral health and primary care.

Eligibility varies in two tracks of the program – the Professional Track and the Paraprofessional Certificate Track. In general, the following types are programs are eligible to apply:

  • Accredited institutions of higher education or accredited behavioral health professional training programs; Accredited schools of masters or doctoral-level training in psychiatry, psychiatric- nursing programs; APA-accredited doctoral level schools and programs in health service psychology;
  • Behavioral paraprofessional certificate training programs and peer paraprofessional certificate training programs.

For complete information on eligibility requirements please refer to the announcement. Applications are due June 12, 2017.