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Federal grant to fund internship training for 21 counselors to expand behavioral health services in underserved areas of Nebraska | KRVN Radio

Federal grant to fund internship training for 21 counselors to expand behavioral health services in underserved areas of Nebraska

Federal grant to fund internship training for 21 counselors to expand behavioral health services in underserved areas of Nebraska
Courtesy/ University of Nebraska Medical Center. Joe Evans, Ph.D., BHECN associate clinical director.

Omaha, Neb., [DATE] The Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) and the Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center were recently awarded a $300,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to fund internship training for clinical counselors to address the behavioral health needs of children, adolescents and families in underserved areas of Nebraska.

Through BHECN and MMI, the Nebraska Counseling Internship Collaborative was created, including Chadron State College, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Wayne State College. The one-year grant will support stipends for 21 counseling interns from these four graduate counseling programs.

“This marks the first collaboration of the four master’s level counseling programs in the state to coordinate interdisciplinary training, and we are excited to see this come to fruition,” said Joe Evans, Ph.D., co-principal investigator and BHECN associate director. “Our goal is to expand the behavioral health workforce and the diversity of licensed counselors in the state who are trained to work with children and adolescents in underserved communities, in particular rural, frontier and inner-city areas.”

“I believe this grant is going to be a game changer for behavioral health in the state of Nebraska,” said Douglas Tillman, assistant professor of counseling and school psychology at UNK.

Training will focus on child and adolescent behavioral health needs to address the gap of children-adolescent behavioral health providers in underserved areas. Interns will be placed in already established integrated behavioral health care clinics in rural and urban underserved areas, providing exposure to working with pediatricians, psychologists, nurses and family practitioners. They also will have an opportunity to develop competencies in working with rural and minority cultures.

Through distance learning, interns will complete a series of learning modules on telehealth practices and integrated behavioral health care. Interns are projected to participate in more than 4,500 patient sessions during this program.

Students interested in applying for the internship may contact program coordinator, Laura Holly at laura.holly@unmc.edu.

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