Departments of Social Work and CEPR Receive Grant to Fund Master's Students

September 20, 2017 - The Departments of Social Work and Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research at the University of Memphis have been awarded a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program grant. The total award is $1,917,762 and will be distributed over a four-year period Sept. 30, 2017, to Aug. 31, 2021. The five faculty on the award team are Susan Neely-Barnes (principal investigator), Elena Delavega, Laura Taylor, Steve Zanskas and Chloe Lancaster.

The award will establish the Mid-South Integrated Behavioral Health Training Initiative (MIBH-TI). The program will fund 30 master's level students per year for four years from the fields of social work, school counseling, mental health counseling and rehabilitation counseling. To be eligible, master's level students must be in their final year of internship placement. Eligible students will participate in a field internship that involves interdisciplinary team practice. The students will also participate in trainings on interdisciplinary team work, working in integrated behavioral health settings, selecting evidence-based practices, identifying emerging mental health conditions, and promoting cultural and linguistic competency.

Students participating in the training program will receive a $10,000 stipend to accompany their final year of field internship. Field supervisors who support the program will receive training and compensation. Students at both the UofM main campus and the Lambuth campus in Jackson, Tenn., are eligible to participate.

"The program builds on the success of the Mid-South Social Work Professional Development Initiative (MSW-PDI) and expands that program to both social work students at the Lambuth campus and counseling students at main campus," said Neely-Barnes, project director for the program and department chair. "We were able to demonstrate that the prior program improved students' skills in working with teams and capacity for serving clients in an integrated health care setting. We are excited that HRSA has recognized our success and chosen to continue its funding."


Susan Neely-Barnes