AHP-Administered Behavioral Health Workforce Development Program in CA Awarded $51.5 Million

The Community Services Division of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) awarded $51.5 million on March 10, 2022, to its newest Behavioral Health Workforce Development (BHWD) program—the Mentored Internship Program (MIP).  
Eighty-four (84) behavioral healthcare nonprofit organizations or county-operated behavioral health programs located in 78 cities in 34 (59 percent) of California counties will initiate behavioral health MIPs starting this spring. These 84 agencies were awarded support for 128 provider sites where grantees will develop and implement in-house MIPs from April 2022 through September 2023. The MIP is funded by grants to California from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 
The mentored internships will vary in duration from 2 to 9 months and will include an array of intern types, ranging from peer specialists to social work and psychology students in both undergraduate and graduate course programs. Organizations will use existing behavioral health employees to mentor the interns, who will be comprised of a range of student types from partnering educational institutions. Interns will include high-school graduates and students at continuation school programs, students from community college programs, and students from both undergraduate and graduate school programs.

Grantees include substance use treatment and mental healthcare providers who serve adolescent and adult populations, including families. The grantees have a high representation of programs that prioritize work in underserved, marginalized, and diverse communities.
MIP joins two other BHWD projects: the Peer Workforce Investment (PWI), which provided $22 million in grants to 45 peer-run organization grantees from July 2021 through February 2023; and the Expanding Peer Organization Capacity (EPOC) project, which awarded $2.6 million in funding to 14 emerging peer organization grantees from September 2021 through February 2023.  
Both PWI and EPOC peer workforce grant programs are focused on building capacity, infrastructure, staffing, and peer services to prepare them to implement SB 803 via the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification Program in Summer 2022. 
All three BHWD projects are administered by Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP), with training and technical assistance, data collection, and project process evaluation also provided by AHP and several subcontractors. 

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