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Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Paraprofessionals

Grants to USA IHEs and Nonprofits
to Train Behavioral Health Specialists

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Bureau of Health Workforce - Division of Nursing and Public Health

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/12/21 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and Territories IHEs and mental health nonprofits for programs to expand training of behavioral health specialists. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to improve community access to essential behavioral health services, particularly for adolescents and children, through training and placing additional paraprofessionals.

The purpose of the BHWET Program for Paraprofessionals is to develop and expand community-based experiential training to increase the supply of students preparing to become peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessionals while also improving distribution of a quality behavioral health workforce. A special focus is placed on the knowledge and understanding of the specific concerns of children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth in high need and high demand areas at risk for behavioral health disorders.

Program Goals

  1. Establish relationships with community-based partners (e.g., emergency departments, faith-based organizations, first responders, judicial systems, health centers, social services, community policing organizations, recovery community organizations or other peer-based recovery support organizations to expand and improve access to quality behavioral health services including but not limited to OUD and other SUD prevention, treatment recovery services in high need and high demand areas.
  2. Promote collaborative training by utilizing team-based models of care in integrated and interprofessional behavioral health and primary care settings.
  3. Recruit a workforce that reflects participation in the institutions’ programs of individuals and groups from different racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, religious, linguistic, and class backgrounds, and different genders and sexual orientations, interested in serving high need and high demand areas.

Combatting the opioid crisis is an HHS priority, and advancing the competencies of the health workforce is a HRSA priority. The BHWET program addresses these priorities by advancing the behavioral health competencies of the paraprofessional workforce across disciplines, and increasing the behavioral health workforce in high need and high demand areas, through collaboration with community based partnerships.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 194201

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Up to 43 grants

Estimated Size of Grant:

Base award:
- Up to $350,000 per year for programs only implementing Level I pre-service training.
- Up to $500,000 for programs implementing Level I pre-service and Level II in-service training.

One-time funds:
- Approximately $216,000

Term of Contract:

Period of Performance: September 1, 2021 through August 31, 2025 (4 years)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

For the purposes of this program, eligible applicants include:
- State-licensed mental health nonprofit and for-profit organizations. These organizations must be able to support programs for Level I pre-service, and Level II in-service, as applicable, training of peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessionals.
- For the purposes of this NOFO, these organizations may include academic institutions, including universities, community colleges, and technical schools. Native American tribal organizations may meet this definition if appropriately licensed by an applicable Tribal government or political subdivision.

In addition to the 50 states, eligible entities include the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations may also apply for these funds, if otherwise eligible.

Current BHWET award recipients whose grants are scheduled to end on August 31, 2021 are eligible to apply for this funding opportunity.

Note: Individuals are not eligible to apply under this NOFO.

Trant funds may not be used for the following:
a. Construction
b. Foreign travel
c. Fringe Benefits for Trainees: Liability insurance, unemployment insurance, life insurance, taxes, retirement plans, or other fringe benefits for trainees are not allowable costs under this grant.
d. Accreditation Costs: Accreditation costs (i.e. Renewals, annual fees, etc.) of any kind are not allowable under this program.

Pre-proposal Conference:

BHWET-Paraprofessionals TA Webinar
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 from 3 - 4:30 p.m. ET
Join the webinar:
Dial-in: 800-988-9757 | Passcode: 8169279

Pre-Application Information:

The due date for applications under this NOFO is April 12, 2021, at 11:59 PM ET. HRSA suggests submitting applications to at least 3 calendar days before the deadline to allow for any unforeseen circumstances.

You must obtain a valid DUNS number, also known as the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), and provide that number in the application. Ensure your and registrations and passwords are current immediately! HRSA will not approve deadline extensions for lack of registration. Registration in all systems, including and, may take up to 1 month to complete.

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For a list of relevant application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

You may request additional information and/or technical assistance regarding business, administrative, or fiscal issues related to this NOFO by contacting:

William Weisenberg
Grants Management Specialist
Division of Grants Management Operations, OFAM
Health Resources and Services Administration
5600 Fishers Lane, Mailstop 10SWH03
Rockville, MD 20857
Telephone: (301) 443-8056

You may request additional information regarding the overall program issues and/or technical assistance related to this NOFO by contacting:

Nicole M. Wilkerson
Project Officer, Division of Nursing and Public Health
Attn: BHWET Program
Bureau of Health Workforce
Health Resources and Services Administration
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11N94A
Rockville, MD 20857
Telephone: (301) 443-7759
Email: Contact Center
Telephone: 1-800-518-4726 (International Callers, please dial 606-545-5035)
Self-Service Knowledge Base:

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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