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Summary

This project’s goals are to increase Georgia’s behavioral health workforce and expand integrated behavioral health/primary care outreach in Georgia by training graduate students to become behavioral health providers in rural and high-need areas of the state. The project will place a gender-, racially-, and ethnically-diverse group of trainees in various community/clinical venues in which they will receive real-world experiential and interdisciplinary training.

Abstract

This application seeks to continue and expand efforts to increase Georgia’s behavioral health workforce, particularly in rural areas, by training University of Georgia graduate students in the following four programs:

  • Ph.D. in counseling psychology
  • M.Ed. in school counseling
  • M.Ed. in mental health counseling
  • M.S.W. in social work

The project’s goals are to increase Georgia’s behavioral health workforce and expand integrated behavioral health/primary care outreach in Georgia by training graduate students to become behavioral health providers in rural and high-need areas of the state. This project will place a gender-, racially-, and ethnically-diverse group of trainees in various community/clinical venues in which they will receive real-world experiential and interdisciplinary training.

Training will occur in:

  • Medically underserved rural areas
  • Communities with racially- linguistically- and economically diverse clients
  • K-12 and specialty schools
  • Primary- and specialty-care clinics
  • Crisis centers
  • State and local health departments
  • AIDS service organizations
  • Residential and outpatient substance use treatment settings in underserved areas of Georgia

In many of these settings, using in-person and remote technologies, trainees will provide services to youth, adolescents, and transitional-age youth (high priority groups). In addition to the training resources and topics implemented in previous and ongoing training programs, trainees will receive a significant amount of didactic and experiential training in preventing and treating trauma and the conduct of group teletherapy.

The planned training grant’s primary goals are to:

  • Grow and expand the geographic reach of Georgia’s behavioral health workforce by training behavioral health students in the delivery of mental and integrated behavioral health primary-care services, both in-person and remotely, in rural and underserved areas of Georgia
  • Provide innovative training opportunities (using the state’s TeleECHO model) that enable trainees to develop expertise in the remote assessment, diagnosis, and delivery of integrated interventions for youth and adults with psychological and behavioral disorders
  • Ensure trainees receive intensive training in cross-discipline models of care to deliver holistic, integrated behavioral health primary care and evidence-based interventions (e.g., the biopsychosocial model of health; the four-quadrant model, and others)

The proposed grant objectives will be evaluated by:

  • Number of trainees supported by this initiative
  • Trainees’ self-efficacy, competency, and future employment rates in behavioral health settings
  • Number of sites that participate as behavioral health placement/practicum
  • Acute, mid-term, and long-term outcomes of youth and adults who receive integrated care from student-trainees

Sponsor

Health Resources and Services Administration: Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program for Professionals
$1,918,245

Principal Investigator

Bernadette Davantes Heckman, PHD

Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Counseling and Human Development Services

Co-PIs

Amanda L. Giordano

Associate Professor, Counseling and Human Development Services

Orion Mowbray

Associate Professor, UGA School of Social Work

Jolie Daigle

Professor, Counseling and Human Development Services

Jennifer Elkins

Associate Professor, UGA School of Social Work

Rosemary E. Phelps

Professor and Coordinator of Undergraduate Service Courses, Counseling and Human Development Services

Active Since

July 2021