JMU offers free training to behavioral health providers statewide

Harrisonburg, Virginia – Free continuing education for behavioral health providers in Virginia is now offered by James Madison University.

Topics covered in the online training include Integrative Behavioral Health, Trauma-Informed Interprofessional Team Care, and Rural Health and can be viewed on the Graduate Psychology website.

The training was prepared with funding from a $1.6 million grant from the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

“It is one of our strategic goals to provide resources to underfunded and rural behavioral health professionals,” said Amanda Evans, project director.

In addition to training materials, behavioral health providers in several central Virginia counties are receiving a helping hand from JMU psychology graduate students over the next three years.

The master’s degree and the Ed.S. graduate students, who began working in schools and clinics last year, receive stipends from the grant while they train and provide assistance to community partners in Augusta, Greene, Louisa counties , Page, Rockingham, Rockbridge and Shenandoah.

Evans said the students worked as clinical interns at rural counseling centers and schools under the program she and co-directors Kelly Atwood, Tammy Gilligan and Michele Kielty have dubbed Rural Interdisciplinary Service and Education: Unlimited Potential (RISE -UP).

Over the four years of the grant, students — who are studying to become clinical mental health counselors, school counselors or school psychologists — will provide 12,900 hours of clinical services in several counties classified as health professional shortage areas, a said Robin Anderson. , head of graduate psychology.

“It’s a big win-win,” Anderson said. “Students often have to do these training experiences without compensation. Now they train in the most needy areas and provide many hours of service to the counties.”

Anderson said she hopes the program will also encourage students to seek work in rural areas after graduation.

The money comes from HRSA’s behavioral health workforce education and training program.

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Media contact: Eric Gorton, [email protected], 540-908-1760

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