Funding Alert! Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Programs Grants

Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration

Does your organization provide professional training programs in the behavioral health sciences? The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently opened a funding opportunity through its Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals. This program focuses on creating and expanding experiential training opportunities (such as internships or field placements) to improve the behavioral health workforce in underserved, high-demand, or rural areas. BHWET encourages building relationships with community-based partners (hospitals, crisis centers, first responders, etc.) to improve access to behavioral health services in these regions.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants include accredited institutions of higher education or accredited professional training programs that offer master’s and doctoral degree programs, training, internships, field placements, and post-doctoral residency programs in mental health fields such as psychiatry, behavioral pediatrics, psychiatric nursing, social work, and more. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations can also apply, if otherwise eligible.

What is the program goal?

The overall goal of the BHWET program is to increase access to behavioral health services for people of all ages in areas considered high-need or high-demand, such as mental health professional shortage areas or rural areas. The BHWET program places an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration, team-based care, and recruitment strategies that attract a diverse pool of individuals interested in serving these high-need regions.

BHWET programs must incorporate a number of requirements, including stipend support for students in their final experiential training, creation or enhancement of evidence-based training programs for faculty and field supervisors, providing technology integrations for distance learning, and regular collaboration with other BHWET program grant recipients to leverage resources and enhance interdisciplinary training. HRSA also encourages applicants to incorporate health center collaboration, violence prevention, and loan repayment programs into their programs. The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) found here includes the full list of program requirements on pages 9-10.

The funder expects to award 92 grants of up to $480,000 per year. This program involves a four-year period of performance.

Cost sharing is only required for applicable doctoral-level psychology, psychiatry, behavioral pediatrics, and psychiatric nursing internships, to cover student stipend costs beyond $28,352.

What makes a project a good fit?

This program prioritizes programs that have demonstrated the ability to train psychology, psychiatry, and social work professionals to work in integrated cares settings. BHWET will also grant applicants one of three funding preferences for applicants that demonstrate the following:

  1. High rate of placing graduates in practice settings with a principal focus on serving medically underserved communities; or
  2. Has achieved a significant increase in the rate of placing graduates in such settings in the two years prior to the proposed grant award; or
  3. Is a new program (less than three graduated classes) that meets at least four of the criteria listed on page 34 of the NOFO.

What if I am ready to apply? To move your project forward, take the following action steps as soon as possible:

  • Review the full NOFO, found on the BHWET program page under the “Apply” heading.
  • Determine whether your organization’s service area meets HRSA’s qualifications for rurality and/or any of the funding preference qualifications.
  • Watch the technical assistance webinar for frequently asked questions and other information.
  • Make sure your System for Award Management (SAM) registration is active, and be sure you have agov profile. You can check your SAM status here:

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Rosie Brennan, Community Engagement Specialist, will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Start preparing for next year! HRSA also has a variety of other programs and funding opportunities available that might be a good fit. The office’s website has ample resources, webinars, and descriptions of other available or upcoming opportunities.

How do I learn more about federal grant opportunities?

AGS is excited to offer a new Federal Grants Training Series coming in 2021! The series is designed to support nonprofit professionals before and during their first federal grant. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

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