Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for ParaprofessionalsDeadline: June 3, 2014
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr) is accepting applications for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) for Paraprofessionals grant program. The purpose of this program is to develop and expand the paraprofessional mental health and substance abuse workforce who will focus on children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth at risk for developing or who have developed a recognized behavioral health disorder following their training. Special emphasis is on transitional-age persons 16 to 25 years old who are at risk for mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide, and among the least likely to seek continuous help. Applicants must emphasize prevention and clinical intervention and treatment for those at risk for engaging in harmful behaviors, including violence, and the involvement of families in the prevention and treatment of behavioral health conditions.
HRSA and SAMHSA are seeking to train a total of 1,700 behavioral health paraprofessionals per year through this grant program. The funding is to support education and training of students in community and technical colleges, including tribal colleges and universities, who are seeking to obtain a certificate in a paraprofessional field focusing on the behavioral health needs of at-risk youth and families. Paraprofessional certificate programs may include community health worker, outreach worker, social services aide, mental health worker, substance abuse/addictions worker, youth worker, promotora, and peer paraprofessional. Certificate programs for peer paraprofessionals may also be offered by organizations recognized by their state government to offer peer paraprofessional training programs, and these programs must offer a state licensure or certification to the trainee upon completion.
Grantees will be expected to use funds for the following activities:
1. Support students through provision of tuition, fees, and supplies to complete a certificate program in a behavioral health-related paraprofessional field. .
2. Expand an existing paraprofessional certificate program(s) to include more behavioral health related content and curricula, and hands-on learning in the form of field placements. Focus should be on addressing behavioral health needs of at-risk children, adolescents, transitional-age youth, and their families.
3. Create more slots in a paraprofessional certificate program(s) to expand the number of students trained with a focus on behavioral health and working with at-risk children and youth.
4. Recruit students who are interested in pursuing a behavioral health-related paraprofessional certificate to prepare them to work with at-risk children, adolescents, transitional-age youth, and their families. Applicants will be expected to recruit a diverse group of students in terms of race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, and other demographic factors, to pursue the certificate program.
5. Develop relationships with non-profit and public organizations focusing on health care, social services, and behavioral health needs of these at-risk populations. These organizations are essential to hosting student field placements and assisting with career placement for graduates of the program.
6. Engage with other organizations/institutions in the community that may be able to provide support and resources to recruit, train and place students, including Area Health Education Centers, labor unions, and American Job Centers.
7. Engage with other organizations/institutions to, and/or where established within the grantee’s organization, provide career development and job placement services that assist students in obtaining employment following the certificate program.
8. Evaluate the program, collect needed program and performance information, and disseminate findings to appropriate audiences.
Amount: $3,400,000 in FY 2014. HRSA will make 10-30 grants of up to $300,000 per year for up to 3 years.
Eligibility: Community and technical colleges, including tribal colleges and universities, accredited by a United States Department of Education nationally recognized accrediting body. Eligible applicants for peer paraprofessional certificate training programs also include organizations recognized by their state government to offer peer paraprofessional training programs, and these programs must offer a state licensure or certification to the trainee upon completion. Entities must offer a certificate program(s) in a behavioral health-related paraprofessional field (i.e., community health worker, outreach worker, social services aide, mental health worker, substance abuse/addictions worker, youth worker, promotora, peer paraprofessional).
Note: Two technical assistance calls are available for applicants and scheduled for April 10 and April 23, 2014.