The School Counseling Program seeks to increase its impact and strengthen its training infrastructure in behavioral health by:
The School Counseling Program seeks to increase its impact and strengthen its training infrastructure in behavioral health by increasing the number of master's-level counseling students in the program, placing larger numbers of behavioral health interns in K-12 schools throughout Northeast Georgia, and preparing school counseling students for behavioral health careers in school systems. Guided by a biopsychosocial-multicultural framework, this project's behavioral health concentration will prepare masters-level school counseling students to deliver behavioral health services (e.g., treatment for substance use and mental health disorders) to at-risk youth in Northeast Georgia Regional Educational Service Agencies (NE GA RESA) school districts. These evidence-based interventions will be administered through integrated, interdisciplinary treatment teams and will be tailored to the unique needs of at-risk K-12 students. This project is innovative because it will leverage existing resources and partnerships to provide integrative, primary care + behavioral health services in schools. Master's-level students who complete this integrated behavioral health concentration will expand Georgia's behavioral health workforce and position it to better meet the biopsychosocial needs of at-risk K-12 youth in the state.
The research team will implement and evaluate the project's large scale efforts to increase the size and efficacy of the behavioral health workforce through the following metrics: (1) number of masters-level students at the University of Georgia supported through this initiative; (2) students' future employment in behavioral health worksites; (3) the extent to which the 13 school districts support and participate in the behavioral health internship program; and (4) the short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes of youth who receive the integrated behavioral health intervention (e.g., reductions in school absenteeism and violent behavior).