Grant Will Help Counseling Students and Underserved Nebraska Counties
Thanks to a $300,000 federal grant to UNMC’s Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, (BHECN), and Monroe-Meyer Institute, 21 masters-level counseling students from four Nebraska universities will receive paid internships.
Dr. Holly Roberts, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Monroe-Meyer Institute, says these students will be placed in integrated primary care settings in some of the highest need areas across the state.
Roberts says most of these graduate counseling programs require 600 internship hours -- typically unpaid. She says offering paid internships increases the chances students will be willing to move to these areas of high need and possibly even remain there long-term.
“There are parts of the state that are underserved, and grossly underserved in many areas, and what we want to do is make sure that we are training students to meet those needs. And we want to meet those needs within a primary care practice; we’re more likely to reduce the stigma involved in going and seeing a behavioral health provider in a stand-alone clinic, where everybody knows who you are and what car you drive”
Roberts says 88 out of Nebraska’s 93 counties are considered underserved in terms of behavioral health services, which she says is often a preventive approach, helping a person before a problem becomes a “diagnosable condition.”
Students from UNO, UN-K, Wayne State and Chadron State are eligible to apply for these paid internship opportunities.
For more information, the website is http://www.unmc.edu/bhecn/