CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH) has awarded $425,000 in grant funding to the Marshall University Research Corporation (MURC) to pilot the WV Behavioral Health Workforce and Health Equity Training Center. The purpose of the grant is to increase behavioral health workforce excellence by providing training in evidence-based practice statewide and to reduce behavioral health disparities related to mental health and substance misuse.
The grant will support a basic array of evidence-based behavioral health virtual training opportunities for West Virginia’s behavioral health workforce. MURC will also support BBH in establishing a Statewide Training Advisory Council, which will be comprised of a variety of stakeholders and provide recommendations to guide the state’s vision of professional development in the behavioral health workforce.
“We are pleased to award this funding to address differences in outcomes and access to services along the behavioral health continuum of care,” said Christina Mullins, Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health. “Barriers to behavioral health care can include race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or geographic location. Removing these barriers means not only better access to care, but also life-changing outcomes.”
This project is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration through the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant and the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant.
“We are delighted for the opportunity to partner with the Bureau for Behavioral Health to improve behavioral health outcomes for West Virginians by providing trauma-informed, culturally-appropriate, evidence based trainings to behavioral health practitioners and advocates who work with diverse populations throughout the state,” said Amy Saunders, Managing Director of the Marshall Center of Excellence for Recovery. “It is our hope that these virtual trainings will reach more professionals, thus increasing the accessibility of services for many individuals and their families. Free CEUs are available for counselors, social workers, psychologists, prevention professionals, and peer support/peer recovery professionals. To be notified about training registrations, please join the list serv.”