U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program
The purpose of the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program is to develop and expand the behavioral health workforce serving populations across the lifespan, including in rural and medically underserved areas. The BHWET Program places special emphasis on establishing or expanding internships or field placement programs in behavioral health that include interdisciplinary training for: 1) students/interns, 2) faculty, and 3) field supervisors to provide quality behavioral health services to communities in need.
Applicants must emphasize:
- Training in prevention and clinical interventions for those at risk of developing or who have a recognized behavioral health disorder
- Strategies for incorporating the involvement of families and community partnerships in the prevention and treatment of behavioral health conditions
- Curricula enhancement and interprofessional training for students/interns, faculty, and field placement supervisors
- Career development in behavioral health for paraprofessionals and peer support specialists
There are two tracks for funding: 1) BHWET Professional Track and 2) BHWET Paraprofessional Certificate Track.
Program requirements for the Professional Track include:
- Provide stipend support to graduate-level students for no less than six consecutive months and no more than 12 consecutive months who will be completing their final field placement (internship or field placement) prior to graduation; part-time students and interns are allowed to receive a stipend prorated at one half of the fixed amount for no more than 24 consecutive months.
- Implement interdisciplinary training with two or more disciplines and integration of behavioral health with primary care.
- Increase the number of field placements and internships with a focus on working with persons in rural, vulnerable, and/or medically-underserved communities.
- Provide interprofessional training for faculty and field placement supervisors.
Program requirements for the Paraprofessional Certificate Track include:
- Support students through provision of tuition, fees, and supplies to complete a certificate program in a behavioral health-related field for no more than 12 consecutive months; part-time student support is allowed for tuition, fees and supplies prorated at one-half of the fixed amount for no more than 24 consecutive months.
- Include an experiential field placement or internship in the certificate program.
- Create additional slots beyond current program capacity in a paraprofessional certificate program(s) to increase the number of students trained with a focus on working with persons in rural, vulnerable, and/or medically underserved communities
- Support career development in behavioral health for paraprofessionals to encourage career progression.
Amount: Up to $44,000,000 is available for 150 awards. Maximum award varies by project track:
- Professional Track: Up to $480,000 per year
- Paraprofessional Certificate Track: Up to $300,000 per year
Eligibility: Varies by program track:
- Accredited institutions of higher education or accredited behavioral health professional training programs in behavioral pediatrics, social work, school social work, substance use disorder prevention and treatment, marriage and family therapy, occupational therapy, school counseling, or professional counseling. Programs must require a pre-degree clinical field placement in behavioral health as part of the training and a prerequisite for graduation.
- Accredited schools of masters or doctoral-level training in psychiatry, psychiatric- nursing programs.
- APA-accredited doctoral level schools and programs in health service psychology or school psychology programs with a practicum of ten or more hours per week for two semesters, and APA-accredited doctoral internship programs in professional psychology.
- Behavioral paraprofessional certificate training programs and peer paraprofessional certificate training programs offered by states, political subdivisions of states, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, public or nonprofit private health professions schools, academic health centers, state or local governments, or other appropriate public or private nonprofit entities as determined appropriate by the Secretary.
- Entities must offer a certificate to the trainees upon completion of a program in a paraprofessional behavioral health related field (i.e., peer support counselor, community health worker, outreach worker, social services aide, mental health worker, substance abuse/addictions worker, youth worker, promotora), and must include an experiential field placement component.
- The certificate should prepare students to apply for state licensure or certification. Students may be new to the field or may be paraprofessionals who are already practicing and want additional credentials to advance their employability.
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