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The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is expanding all California’s behavioral health professions, including the behavioral health workforce. The commitment is to improve and expand access to behavioral health services throughout the state to allow productive participation. As part of this enhancement, DHCS contracted with Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP) to implement the Behavioral Health Workforce Development (BHWD) project.


As of January 2022, 59 grantees have been awarded funds to support expansion of their behavioral health operations. Grantees are supported in many ways, including this customized platform providing learning and development resources.
You’re invited to apply for Behavioral Health Workforce Development (BHWD) support funding. The BHWD project offers multiple Requests for Funding Applications (RFAs): the Peer Workforce Investment (PWI) project, the Expanding Peer Organization Capacity (EPOC) project, and the Mentored Internship Project (MIP).

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The grant elements of this effort are:

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Mentored Internship Program (MIP)

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This grant gives eligible behavioral health organizations the funding to develop and put into place an in-house Mentored Internship Project (MIP) to assist in the treatment and recovery of patients with substance use, mental health, or cooccurring disorders.

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Expanding Peer Organization Capacity

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The EPOC grant offers a rare opportunity for emerging peer organizations to build their infrastructure and capacity to deliver peer recovery supports for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. 

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Peer Workforce Investment

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The PWI grant provides a unique chance for behavioral health programs to invest in their capacity and infrastructure to “set the table” for the future Medi-Cal peer support services benefit, which becomes available for billing this year. 

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Kathleen West

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Leadership

Kathleen West, DrPH, senior program manager for Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP), has more than 20 years of experience in the areas of behavioral health, veterans, drug courts, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). She is project director for the California Behavioral Health Workforce Development Program, including Peer Workforce Investment, Expanding Peer Organization Capacity and the Mentored Internship Program, with California’s Department of Health Care Services. Dr. West is also co-director for training and technical assistance for the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP), funded through the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance to support COAP grantees, as well as other programs throughout the United States, that are interested in expanding MAT to jail populations and community correctional staff and reentry programming. Dr. West received her DrPH in population and family health, reproductive epidemiology, and health policy from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Commitment

DHCS is committed to statewide expansion of California’s behavioral health workforce, and all other behavioral health professions, to improve consumer access to and productive participation in behavioral health services throughout the state. As part of this commitment, DHCS contracted with AHP, to implement the BHWD project. More than 100 behavioral health grantees are expected to be funded between July 2021 and mid-February 2023. Grantees will receive intensive training and technical assistance during this period, before BHWD funding from SAMHSA closes. 

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