Thomas University’s Counseling program receives $1.9 million grant from HRSA

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Thomas University’s Master of Science Degree in Clinical Mental Health and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling (CMHCRC) recently received a Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program for Professionals grant for $1,914,608 over the course of four years beginning July 1.

These grant funds will be used to focus on enhancing the fieldwork component of the current CMHCRC program by recruiting additional fieldwork sites across the United States for student placements and future alumni worksites. These sites will provide community mental health and substance abuse services to clients in high need, high demand areas.

The project is focused on achieving quality outcomes, including expanding its collaboration with community mental health agencies throughout the country; placing highly qualified and trained practitioners into high need, high demand areas to improve quality of care; creating relationships with other health care professionals to develop a thriving inter-professional network of service provision to the most at-risk consumers; and making mental health services more accessible to those living in rural areas with the least access to professional care.

“The HRSA grant will help Thomas University prepare students to be mental health care providers in areas where they’re needed most,” said Dr. Pauline Patrick, Chair of the Division of Social & Behavioral Sciences. “By expanding our fieldwork sites across the country, we’re not only increasing the opportunities for hands-on experiences for our students, but we’re also meeting the needs of the people who live in those areas who may not have access to mental health and substance abuse counseling professionals. TU will be able to help meet that need.”

Dr. Cristina Jones, CMHCRC Program Director and Assistant Professor, will be the Principal Investigator on the grant.

“With this coordinated approach to increasing the number of fieldwork sites around the country, TU is well-positioned to have a national impact on improving service provision to those living in high risk, high need areas,” Dr. Jones said. “This is an amazing opportunity for our program to grow our network of providers to ensure that those in rural communities have the same access to care.”

The grant will provide stipends to 30 of TU’s CMHCRC students per year to help them with personal finances while they are in their fieldwork sites. The grant will also provide funds to hire a full-time Fieldwork Site Recruiter and a full-time Fieldwork Coordinator.

CMHCRC program administrators Dr. Patrick, Dr. Jones and Candace Strickland applied for the HRSA grant. TU’s completely online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Degree is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Students completing the degree are eligible to take the national Certified RehabilitationCounselor (CRC) exam and become licensed as a professional counselor in the state in which they live. recently named Thomas University’s completely online Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling to two of its lists. TU’s degree program ranked number 18 out of the top 61 online Counseling programs and number 9 out of the top 27 online master’s degrees in addictions and recovery degree programs. Students in TU’s program have the option of earning a specialization in Alcohol and Addictions.

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