The purpose of our initiative is to increase the capacity of the social work profession in upstate New York to address the mental and behavioral needs of veterans, military personnel and their families, and residents of medically underserved rural communities.
This proposal responds to Funding Opportunity Announcement HRSA-12-181. MSW program leaders, the Deans and Directors of upstate New York Schools of Social Work, have joined forces to propose a nationally significant collaborative training program to serve the high need and high demand (HN/HD) populations throughout the region.
Under the proposed umbrella of the Upstate New York Mental and Behavioral Health Education Consortium (UNY-MBHEC), the objectives of this initiative are to (i) recruit a highly qualified pool of trainee candidates; (ii) support trainees in educational and career development; (iii) create and sustain specialized mental and behavioral health field placement sites in high need and high demand areas; (iv) provide an enriched learning experience focused on improving services for high need and high demand populations with behavioral health needs; (v) disseminate training materials and scholarly research products; and (vi) institutionalize the Consortium.
With the University at Albany School of Social Welfare (UA-SSW) as the lead, the consortium includes the MSW programs of the University at Buffalo (UB), University at Binghamton (BU), Greater Rochester Collaborative (GRC) which is a joint program of the University at Brockport and Nazareth College of Rochester, Roberts Wesleyan College (RW), and Syracuse University (SU). Our locations (see map in Attachment 1) span a wide geographic region, and our students are located in medically underserved communities across the state.
Our collaborative partnership is predicated on common purposes, shared resources, mutual accountability for outcomes and commitment to continuous quality improvement. The nationally significant model involves the multiplier effects of asset sharing across the collaborative. The benefits for students and the project will be far more than any one institution alone could offer, and the knowledge we will gain has national import for the social work profession and other large-scale professional training interventions.