Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program

Overview

Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training

Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

HRSA's Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals develops and expands experiential training opportunities, field placements and internships for Clinical PsyD, Counseling, and School Psychology students. By emphasizing relationships with community-based partners, and recruiting candidates from under-represented backgrounds, the program aims to increase access to quality behavioral health services for populations across the lifespan in high need and high demand areas.

The program emphasizes interdisciplinary collaborations by utilizing team-based care in integrated behavioral health and primary care settings and recruiting a workforce that is comprised of individuals and groups from different racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, religious, linguistic and class backgrounds, and different genders and sexual orientations. A special focus is placed on developing knowledge and understanding of the specific concerns for children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth who are at risk for behavioral health disorders. 

Through the HRSA-funded initiative, the Clinical Psychology, Counseling and Behavioral Health, and School Psychology Departments at William James College (WJC) will recruit and train 80 graduate students over the course of the 4-year project and expand experiential training partnerships with a broad range of field education sites that offer team-based care in integrated behavioral health and primary care settings.

The goals and objectives of the WJC BHWET Program are as follows:

  • Recruit 20 graduate trainees who are committed to working with children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth in high-need and high-demand areas.
  • Place 20 trainees annually at field training sites that serve children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth with behavioral health challenges (see the list of approved partner agencies below).
  • Offer didactic seminars and professional development workshops on evidence-based, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive practices for trainees, staff, and partner agencies.
  • Provide annual stipends to 20 graduate students, as follows:
    • Six (6) Clinical PsyD students in their final experiential training year (i.e., students who will be in their 4th year and enrolled in Advanced Practicum II at the start of the training program). Each student will receive a $25,000 stipend annually.
    • Seven (7) Counseling students in their 2nd or 3rd year (i.e., students who will be completing their internship training at the start of the program). Each student will receive a $10,000 stipend annually.
    • Seven (7) School Psychology students in their 3rd year (i.e., students who will be completing their internship training at the start of the program). Each student will receive a $10,000 stipend annually.
  • Evaluate the program's impacts on trainees' knowledge, skills, and competency to provide high quality mental health services to children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youths in underserved communities.
  • Engage in continuous program monitoring, evaluation, and management practices throughout the course of the funded project.

Twenty students will be recruited annually from the Clinical PsyD, Counseling, and School Psychology Departments. Eligibility criteria are as follows:

  1. Clinical PsyD students who are applying for their final practicum training prior to going on internship (i.e., current 3rd year students who will be in their 4th year and enrolled in Advanced Practicum II at the start of the program).
  2. Counseling students who are applying for their internship training (i.e., students who will be in their 2nd or 3rd year at the start of the program).
  3. School Psychology students who are applying for their internship training (i.e., students who will be in their 3rd year at the start of the program).
  4. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or current green card holders.

Additionally, students will be selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated commitment to serving children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youths with behavioral disorders
  2. Motivation to work with youths and families in medically underserved communities and primary care settings
  3. High level of cultural awareness, sensitivity, and responsiveness
  4. Underrepresentation in the behavioral health field
  5. Good academic standing
  6. Language proficiency
  7. Enrollment in a concentration with a focus on unserved groups and underserved communities

Note: Students who currently receive federal funding (e.g., STAR Fellowship, LDR Fellowship, Graduate Psychology Education Program, or Opioid Workforce Expansion Program) are not eligible for the BHWET Program.

Trainees must be enrolled full- or part-time in a graduate program at WJC in order to receive stipend support. In addition, trainees must be eligible to work in the United States. A trainee receiving support from grant funds under this program must be a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible to participate in the BHWET Program.

Below is a list of the school districts, community-based agencies, and health centers that are current partners of the BHWET Program for Professionals:

Note: Students may apply to other field training sites that serve the target groups and are located in underserved communities throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. New partner agencies must sign a Memorandum of Agreement to join the BHWET Program."

Students who are selected to participate in the WJC BHWET Program will be required to:

  • Complete a one-year field education training at an approved field training site that serves children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youths in high need and high demand areas.
  • Provide team-based care to the target population in integrated behavioral and primary care settings in underserved communities.
  • Meet all field training sites' expectations (e.g., hours on-site, direct care to clients, telehealth services, consultation and collateral contacts, supervision, and multidisciplinary team meetings, etc.).
  • Participate in mandatory didactic seminars, professional development meetings, and mentorship activities. Students must be available to attend weekly didactic seminars (e.g., on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 5:00 pm), which will be held via Zoom.
  • Remain in good academic standing throughout their participation in the BHWET Program.
  • Adhere to their Field Education departmental requirements, and program policies and procedures for professional conduct and ethical behavior.
  • Actively engage in program evaluation-related activities (e.g., complete surveys and other data collection tools) that are required by HRSA.
  • Complete and submit Time2Track reports, including detailed client demographic data and training activities, in a timely manner.
  • Obtain a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number for data tracking purposes.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with the BHWET Program staff.
  • Complete other tasks, as required by the BHWET Program.

Students who are interested in joining the BHWET Program must fill out an application form via Qualtrics and submit a résumé/CV and two letters of recommendation (one of which should be from a clinical supervisor). The recruitment period for the BHWET Program typically starts in December. The application due date will be published on an annual basis and disseminated to the William James College community via email. 

Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Completed application materials will be reviewed by the BHWET Program faculty. Following a comprehensive application review process, eligible candidates will be invited for an interview with the BHWET Program faculty. Interviews will be conducted in January/February and will take place in-person or via Zoom. Students will be informed via email of the status of their applications by late February/March. 

Note: Candidates who apply to an agency that is not a current partner must inform the site of the BHWET Program’s requirements. All training sites will receive $2,800 per trainee to defray the cost of supervision. New and existing agency partners will be required to sign a Memorandum of Agreement, submit a W-9 form, and document how funds received from the grant are expended.

Contact Information

The WJC BHWET Program is administered by Project Director Dr. Gemima St. Louis and Associate Director Dr. Shani Turner.

Please direct all inquiries to:

Gemima St. Louis, PhD, Project Director
Vice President for Workforce Initiatives and Specialty Training
Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology Department

William James College
1 Wells Avenue, Newton, MA 02459
Email: Gemima_Stlouis@williamjames.edu
Phone: 617-327-6777 x1241