(Press Release from SAMHSA)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Administrator Pamela S. Hyde announced the award of a minority fellowship grant of up to $1.6 million to expand the behavioral health workforce in order to reduce health disparities and improve health care outcomes for traditionally underserved populations. The grant will improve health care outcomes for these populations by increasing the number of culturally competent mental health and substance abuse counselors available in the public and private non-profit service sectors.

“Many racial and ethnic groups do not have access to quality behavioral health care delivered by practitioners who truly understand the language and culture of the people they serve,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “This grant will help ensure that we can effectively meet the behavioral health needs of all Americans, regardless of language or culture, reducing health disparities and improving the overall health and well-being of everyone who needs behavioral health services.”

The Minority Fellowship Program grant is being awarded to the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates based in Greensboro, N.C. in an amount of up to $825,000 each year for up to two years.  The actual amount of the funding is subject to the availability of funds.

Funding for this grant will support infrastructure development activities that include: providing stipends and other training related costs for professional counselors to improve their cultural and linguistic competency; workforce development activities aimed at increasing the pool of doctoral-level professional counselors who deliver culturally appropriate behavioral health services to diverse populations especially within the public and private non-profit sectors; collaborating with accredited, graduate schools for professional counselors to recruit more students,  including those in recovery, committed to serving minority populations with mental and substance use disorders.

Counseling Today will be featuring an article on this grant in an upcoming issue.