Carrie Smith (SWK) PI, Xiafei Wang (SWK) co-PI, Melissa Luke (SOE) co-I, Derek Seward (SOE) co-I, Kenneth Marfilius (SWK) Other Senior Personnel, Nancy Mudrick (SWK) Other Senior Personnel, Matthew Spitzmueller (SWK) Other Senior Personnel, Kendra DeLoach McCutcheon (SWK) Other Senior Personnel, Tracy Walker (SWK) Other Senior Personnel, and Kristin Esposito (SWK) Other Senior Personnel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DOH), 7/1/21-6/30/25.
Like communities across the United States, Central New York faces an acute shortage of mental health professionals, particularly those who work with children and families. The stigma of mental health issues, combined with long waits to see psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors and social workers, often means that families don’t seek help until they face a significant crisis.
That’s why the School of Social Work in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, the School of Education’s Department of Counseling and Human Services, the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Upstate University’s Psychiatry Faculty Practice have joined forces to create a collaborative training program to serve high-need and high-demand populations in urban and rural areas in the Central New York region.
The project is funded by a grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA’s mission is improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. The grant will provide more than $408,000 in the first year and an anticipated $1.24 million over four years to fund the effort.
Through scholarships for trainees, enhanced field placement opportunities, a focus on improving services for people in high-need and high-demand areas, interprofessional collaboration and scholarly research, the project seeks to improve the availability and quality of mental health services for children, adolescents and families. The project will also focus on early identification of behavioral health services in the context of primary care. The project leaders stress that mental health, like physical health, is improved by proactive screening and preventative care. Early intervention seeks to identify ways to support children and families before concerns become a crisis.