Echoes Prioritizing Expansion of Pipeline of Nationwide Diverse Mental Health Workforce
Los Angeles, March 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — President Joe Biden’s announcement yesterday of a new commitment to addressing the nation’s mental health crisis is being applauded by higher education thought leaders such as Dr. Michele Nealon, Psy.D., president of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
“As educators of future psychologists and therapists, we are gratified to hear the President put such high priority on strengthening the capacity and diversity of the mental health workforce,” she said.Dr. Nealon echoed the President’s call for more behavioral health providers, noting that one-third of Americans live in designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas.
“At The Chicago School, we have been committed for over four decades to expanding the supply, diversity and cultural competency of the mental health workforce, especially in underserved communities,” said Dr. Nealon.
She noted that the President’s FY23 budget designates $700 million for programs like the National Health Service Corps, Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program, and the Minority Fellowship Program. These all provide training, access to scholarships and loan repayment to mental health and substance use disorder clinicians committed to practicing in rural and other underserved communities.
“This major new funding will help expand the pipeline for mental health providers in communities of low income and people of color,” she said. “These are precisely the areas where we are focusing our training efforts so that our graduates will be well-equipped to fill the gap.”
The Chicago School educates more than 6,000 students each year in the fields of psychology, behavioral health sciences, and nursing. Nearly two out of three are students of color. In 2019-20, The Chicago School awarded 11 percent of the total Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology degrees awarded by the private, non-profit higher education sector in the State of California alone.
“The Chicago School is committed to excellence in education and training, to graduating diverse psychologists and therapists ready to meet the burgeoning mental health needs of the community, all the while building a highly qualified and dedicated mental health workforce,” Dr. Nealon said.
“There is no health without mental health and there is no health without systemic …….