One of the changes that have occurred because of the pandemic is that it made us rethink medicine. Telehealth was rare pre-pandemic but now it’s a discussion topic. And, telehealth is used in more places than ever before. This is a net positive because it increases options for people living in areas of limited access to health care. This is especially true in rural and tribal areas.
Now, the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Services has awarded a nearly $600,000 grant to increase healthcare access and options. This grant will fund telehealth services and distance education in the University of Montevallo’s neighboring counties of Bibb, Dallas, and Talladega.
Dr. Jennifer Alexiou-Ray, the principal investigator for this grant, spoke on the grant award: “The Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program allows the University to partner with neighboring rural communities to increase the availability of education and mental health care services, which is particularly relevant given the challenges everyone has experienced over the past year.”
This Telehealth Grant Will Help Provide Access to Mental Health Care
Telehealth is important, especially for rural areas with limited access to healthcare and education. The USDA Rural Development, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, is administering this federal grant. The goal of this agency is to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. And, since rural America has a massive shortage of mental healthcare options, this is an important mission.
Here’s what this award means: UM’s College of Education & Human Development’s Counseling Masters Degree Program will expand its free counseling clinic. This means that the clinic will serve students and community members in three Alabama counties using telehealth services.
In addition, the University of Montebello will offer distance-learning opportunities. This will allow students to access on-campus lectures that are for professional educators, to learn current best practices.
GrantWatch Knows Rural Health Care and Education Options Are Crucial
At GrantWatch, we understand just how important more options in education and healthcare are. At times like this, the conversation is so important. This is because so many people are facing increased pressure that impacts their mental health. Even pre-pandemic, rural residents had limited options for mental health services.
That’s one reason programs like this can make a big difference. That’s also why it’s good to see institutions like UM apply for these grants to provide services to students and the outside community.
On GrantWatch.com, we have several categories of interest to grant-seekers. These include our mental health-grant category and our education-grant category. Our research team updates both of these categories regularly to provide maximum value to our subscribers.
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