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$33 million awarded to tribal organizations to expand mental health medical program

To expand mental health medical program, they grant $33 million to tribal organizations

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) awarded an additional $33 million to 120 tribal organizations and nonprofit providers to expand the mental health medical program, mentored practices for program staff.

Thus, each entity will receive up to $500,000 to improve and build its behavioral health and substance use disorder workforce, focusing on resources that expand prevention, treatment and recovery workforce to support Californians with or at risk of developing an opioid use disorder.

“We are pleased to continue supporting these successful programs aimed at recruiting new workers in behavioral health settings,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass. 

The official added that the professional development of diverse students through reflective and mentored internships will further help mitigate the crisis facing the state of California by providing comprehensive training to future behavioral health professionals to serve the many diverse communities. .

In this regard, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that: ?The buildup of tensions in recent years and current crises, from mental health to opioids to homelessness, only underscore the urgency of investing in the next generation of health workers? 

He added that California is doubling down on successful, proven programs to help students get the on-the-job training and education they need to build lasting careers and better serve Californians.

Today's awards aim to expand California's behavioral health workforce by providing hands-on, on-the-job experience to students at multiple stages of their education.

The Mentored Internship Program was established in 2022 in response to several California-specific behavioral health workforce needs assessments and recommendations that revealed a shortage of professionals across the spectrum of behavioral health careers. 

In turn, it aims to develop and implement an internship program to assist in the treatment and recovery of patients with substance use, mental health or co-occurring disorders. 

Organizations will identify mentors for fellows in various positions, such as peer recovery specialists, outreach workers, case managers and counselors. Students in fields such as social work, public health, and psychology are encouraged to intern, along with students enrolled at community colleges and four-year universities, as well as high school students or recent graduates.

You may be interested in: San Mateo County offers free suicide prevention workshops

Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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