A $600,000 grant to the University of Connecticut and Western Connecticut State University from the Health Resources and Services Administration received through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program. The program, which was reauthorized as part of Senator Chris Murphy's recently enacted Mental Health Reform Act, seeks to expand the behavioral health workforce and train new mental health providers, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and paraprofessionals.
UConn will receive $178,544 to recruit, train and place social workers in underserved areas of Connecticut with a focus on integrated care. Western Connecticut State University will receive $420,522 to increase the number of school and clinical mental health counselors who can provide trauma-informed mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults.
In addition to the stigma surrounding mental illness that prevents too many from getting the help they need and deserve, 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says the state faces a serious shortage of trained mental health professionals.
Murphy says too many kids and adults with mental health needs in this country don’t get the timely care they need for one reason: not enough trained behavioral health specialists to care for them. He added that it should be as easy to access a doctor or get prescriptions for an illness of the mind as it is for an illness of the body.