Delaware State University has been awarded a four-year $1.9 million grant that aims toward providing needed behavioral health training and benefits to Sussex County.
The grants – awarded by the federal Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) – enable the University’s Department of Social Work to establish a Delaware Integrated Behavioral Health Workforce Training Program (DIBH), which will train students in the Master of Social Work Program for work in high demand areas with high need populations.
“The behavioral health workforce throughout the United States, and in Delaware, is in need of an increased number of diverse graduates trained in rural integrated care practice,” said Dr. Amy Habeger, Associate Professor of Social Work and principal investigator of the grant. “Sussex County (Del.) has been designated by HRSA as a health professional shortage area for medical and behavioral health providers and the DIBH Training Program participants will increase the number of trained behavioral health professionals committed to rural practice.”
Dr. Hebeger said the funding will provide stipends for 116 MSW students enrolled in the DIBH Training Program and who are completing field education placements at partner agencies in Sussex County over the next four years.
To ensure that training is responsive to the community needs, an advisory body will oversee the program. The group will meet quarterly to review and suggest training and conference topics, as well as to discuss outcomes and midstream changes based on the analyzed data.