Counseling Workforce at Western Kentucky Gets Grant

People are struggling. We may not know the real aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic for years. We may not know how not just the pandemic itself but actions taken to prevent its spread affected Americans. What we do know is that many people are hurting.

For those who seek help, having a trained workforce of mental health counselors is helpful. Ensuring that people trying to find help with issues related to their mental health can feel secure is key. And that’s a real problem considering the shortage of trained counselors, especially in remote areas. Training counselors to meet the need of those who are hurting is needed now.

This is why it’s great to hear that Western Kentucky University has received a grant to be able to bolster the counseling workforce in the state of Kentucky.

Reinforce the Workforce

The grant’s goal is to be able to improve the overall health of underserved and vulnerable populations in the state. Essentially, strengthening the counseling workforce will give more access to care for more people. Specifically, this grant will go toward:

  • Ensuring more counseling internship opportunities in high-need areas.
  • Increasing the number of qualified counselors in high-need areas, especially in rural areas
  • Expand the amount of interprofessional collaborative behavioral health trainings in both primary care and behavioral health settings.

This $1.92 million grant is being awarded through the U.S Department of Health and Human Services’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The University with receives $480,000 per year for four years to accomplish this goal. This award is through the HRSA’s Behavioral Health Workforce and Education Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals.

“We are now entering an era in which our counseling workforce will serve people managing the unknown impacts of the pandemic,” said Corinne Murphy, Dean of WKU’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. “This award is not only an enormous benefit for WKU, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs but to our region at large as we prepare the next generation of counseling professionals. The grant provides $10,000 stipends for up to 29 interns each year for the next four years, site supervisor stipends, as well as funds for interprofessional training and faculty professional development largely focused on serving the needs of our rural communities. This funding will significantly and positively impact our ability to recruit, retain and support our students as they grow in to counseling professionals.”

We hope this grant can help ensure that more people who need help can gain access to it. This is especially important considering the healthcare shortage, especially in mental health in rural areas.

GrantWatch Notes

Ensuring that more people can gain access to proper mental health care is absolutely critical. Here’s a grant we have listed for U.S. nonprofits for initiatives that improve mental health care for children and youth. We hope the Mental Health-related grants over at GrantWatch category will aid you in your grant-seeking journey.

Make sure to up for a paid GrantWatch subscription to gain access to all of our resources to help grant-seekers like you.

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