Four advanced standing MSW students received Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant awards as a part of the Upstate New York Mental and Behavioral Health Education Consortium (UNY-MBHEC). This initiative’s focus is to increase the capacity of the social work profession in Upstate New York to serve the mental and behavioral health needs of veterans, military personnel and their families, and residents of medically underserved rural communities.

Consortium efforts are led by Principal Investigator, Dr. Carrie Jefferson Smith, director of the School of Social Work, and co-Investigator, Kristin Esposito, field placement coordinator, School of Social Work. The project is supported by a three-year, $480,253 competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration.

The School of Social Work has partnered with the Syracuse VA Medical Center on this program since 2013. This year’s cohort who will begin field placements in Fall 2014 with the Syracuse VA Medical Center include:

  • Ashley King will be working in the VA’s Homeless Program.
  • Sonya Mangovski will be working with the VA’s Crisis Intervention team.
  • Karen McClenthan will be placed with the Military Sexual Trauma/Behavioral Health program.
  • Theresa Taylor will work with the VA’s Psychotherapy Team through individual and group therapy programs that support individuals with mental health challenges such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, loss and grief.

In 2013, the School of Social Work announced it is part of a consortium of upstate New York schools, led by the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare, to support behavioral health initiatives for veterans. This collaboration underscores the Falk College, its School of Social Work and Syracuse University’s long-standing commitment to veterans and military families through interdisciplinary scholarship to address issues impacting this community.