HHS aims to grow behavioral health workforce with $44.5 million investment

The program offers internships and field placement
By Bernie Monegain
01:05 PM

Mental health and substance abuse programs across the country will share $44.5 million for training programs aimed at increasing the number of mental health providers and substance abuse counselors.

The Health Resources and Services Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are funding 144 new and continuing grants through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program.

The Department of Health and Human Services unveiled the initiative, which supports clinical internships and field placements, on Sept. 23.

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More than $7.9 million will support 34 new grantees and an additional $36.6 million will fund 110 current grantees.  

In announcing the effort, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell noted the grants are an important step toward creating an educational pipeline for future behavioral health providers.

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"The program emphasizes integrating behavioral health, primary care, violence awareness and prevention, and the involvement of families in the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders," HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae, said in a statement.

In 2015, 55 million adult Americans had a mental or substance use disorder, yet fewer than 39 percent of those affected got treatment, according to SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto.

See the complete list of fiscal year 2016 grant recipients here.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com

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