Grant Will Train Social Work Grad Students to Meet Demand for Behavioral Health in Primary Care

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 17, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Social Work in collaboration with the UK Department of Family and Community Medicine has been awarded a $1.4 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant that will be used to train graduate social work students to meet the rising demand for social workers trained in primary behavioral health with children, adolescents and transitional aged individuals (ages 18-25). The federal grant will provide $10,000 stipends that will allow the College of Social Work and the Department of Family and Community Medicine to create an integrated behavioral health track. This track will train 92 clinical social work students in a fully integrated model of primary behavioral health care over a three year period. Second year graduate social work students will practice intensive case management, behavioral health interventions and secondary prevention screening for children/teens/and transitional age young adults at risk for mental illness, family violence, trauma, substance misuse, and risky sexual behavior. Students will serve at-risk and underserved populations including rural, impoverished, refugee, immigrant and inner city clients, including families. Compared nationally, Kentucky has higher poverty rates, child and adolescent risk of illegal substance use, youth suicides, and child obesity. Kentucky’s high school youth experience higher rates of violence, and have had higher rates of child abuse fatalities in recent years. Kentucky was also an early state to experience targeted gun violence in schools. “This is really a great opportunity to increase interdepartmental collaboration here at UK for preparing social work graduate students to meet the critical shortages of behavioral health care professionals across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I cannot imagine a more community engaged project.” said Carlton D. Craig, associate professor in the College of Social Work and the project’s principal investigator.  The collaborative team working on the project also includes William Elder, professor in the College of Medicine, David Royse, professor in the College of Social Work and Pamela Weeks, associate clinical professor in the College of Social Work.   MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or 

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