Harrisonburg, Virginia — Free continuing education for behavioral health providers across Virginia is now being offered by James Madison University.
Topics covered by the online training include integrative behavioral health, trauma-informed interprofessional care, and rural health and can be accessed at graduate psychology website.
The training was funded by a $1.6 million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.
“This is one of our strategic goals to provide resources for under-resourced and rural behavioral health care professionals,” said Amanda Evans, project director.
In addition to training materials, behavioral health providers in several counties in central Virginia are getting a helping hand from JMU psychology graduate students over the next three years.
Masters and Ed.S. graduate students, who began working in schools and clinics last year, receive stipends from the grant as they train and provide assistance to community-based partners in Augusta, Greene, Louisa, Page, Rockingham, Rockbridge and Shenandoah counties.
Evans said the students work as clinical interns in rural counseling centers and schools in the program she and co-directors Kelly Atwood, Tammy Gilligan and Michele Kielty called Interdisciplinary Service and Rural Education: Unlimited Potential (RISE-UP).
Over the course of the grant’s four years, the students — who are studying to be clinical mental health counselors, school counselors or school psychologists — will provide 12,900 hours of clinical services in multiple counties that are classified as Health Professional Shortage Areas, it said. Robin Anderson. , head of graduate psychology.
“It’s a great win,” Anderson said. “Students often have to do these training experiences without compensation. Now they are training in high-need areas and providing many hours of service to counties.”
Anderson said he hopes the program will encourage students to seek jobs in rural areas after graduation.
The money comes from HRSA’s Behavioral Workforce Education and Training Program.
# # #
Media Contact: Eric Gorton, email@example.com
More information about James Madison University, including rankings and recognitions can be found at jmu.edu/about.