“As we re-emerge to life as usual, the need for mental health providers and services will remain, and could increase, as people feel more comfortable and safe seeking help.”
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (PRWEB)
July 21, 2021
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been awarded $1.8 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to boost the number of qualified mental health providers, especially in rural communities.
The Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program (BHWET) is a cross-disciplinary effort led by principal investigator (PI) Melissa Bogle, DNP, SIUE School of Nursing assistant professor and family nurse practitioner (FNP) clinical site coordinator in the Department of Family Health and Community Health Nursing. She will collaborate with co-PI Jayme Swanke, PhD, associate professor and master of social work (MSW) program director in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Social Work.
“There is a natural alignment of nursing and social work areas of focus, which facilitated our creation of this shared effort,” said Bogle. “Behavioral health providers are extremely important in a number of settings, including community health and mental health centers, hospitals and other public organizations. Using a multidisciplinary integrated-care approach to providing mental health services ensures that consumer needs are met efficiently and effectively.”
The need is great as the number of healthcare providers in many areas of the central and southern half of Illinois is insufficient. Within the 70 counties that comprise central and southern Illinois, from which SIUE attracts a majority of its students, there are documented health provider shortages.
“Data from Mental Health America indicates increased rates of anxiety and depression among youth and adults between January and September 2020, with increased rates of suicidal ideation among both groups,” Swanke noted. “Mental Health America reported that 70% of people reported the top contributing factors to mental health issues as loneliness and isolation, while 46.1% attributed mental health issues to past trauma, and 42% to relationship problems.”
“As we re-emerge to life as usual,” she continued,” the need for mental health providers and services will remain, and could increase, as people feel more comfortable and safe seeking help.”
SIUE’s high-quality program offerings and physical location make it ideally equipped to meet the critical need of developing behavioral health workers in Illinois to serve vulnerable populations in the region.
“The SIUE doctor of nursing practice program is one of the only programs with a brick and mortar presence south of Springfield,” Bogle explained. “Additionally, the School of Nursing’s psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) program admitted its first cohort in 2019.”
“Students in the MSW program have a range of regional agencies that they can choose from to fulfill the specialized field practicum requirements,” added Swanke. “We fully vet field sites to ensure they meet our Department’s focus on social and economic justice, human rights and diversity. HRSA BHWET funds will help ensure students choose SIUE for their graduate education.”
Through the BHWET Program, SIUE has partnered with Casa de Salud, Chestnut Health, Centerstone, Southern Illinois Health Foundation, the Macoupin County Health Department and the SIUE WE CARE Clinic to provide interprofessional training opportunities for MSW and PMHNP students.
“These locations represent a diverse group of healthcare systems that provide access to care for many underserved populations,” Bogle said. “They also give students an opportunity to experience various cultural and socioeconomic patient backgrounds.”
Additionally, SIUE has joined a consortium of schools who will provide educational and collaborative opportunities for each program’s students. The existing consortium includes SIUE, Webster University, Stony Brook University, Rutgers University, Michigan State University and Northern Michigan University.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of nearly 13,000.
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