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West Conn receives grant for mental health

September 22, 2017 GMT

Western Connecticut State University received nearly $421,000 to increase the number of counselors who can provide trauma-informed mental health services to children, adolescents and adults.

It is part of a $600,000 federal grant awarded to Western and the University of Connecticut on Friday.

The money was awarded through the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program. The program, which was reauthorized as part of U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy’s Mental Health Reform Act, expands the behavioral health workforce and trains new mental health providers, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and paraprofessionals.

UConn received nearly $179,000 to recruit, train and place social workers in underserved areas of Connecticut with a focus on integrated care.

As grant recipients, UConn and Western will help close the gap in access to behavioral health care services by recruiting new behavioral health professionals and providing opportunities for field placement, job placement, and career development services, according to the news release.

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“Too many kids and adults with mental health needs in this country don’t get the timely care they need for one reason: we don’t have enough trained behavioral health specialists to care for them,” Murphy said in the release. “I worked hard to reauthorize this grant program as part of my Mental Health Reform Act because I believe that it should be as easy to access a doctor or get prescriptions for an illness of the mind as it is for an illness of the body.”