DHCS is expanding California’s behavioral health (BH) workforce to improve access, engagement, and productive participation in BH services for individuals and communities throughout the state. Through the Behavioral Health Workforce Development (BHWD) projects, DHCS aims to diversify and enhance the BH workforce across geography, race, ethnicity, language, culture, sexual orientation, gender identification, and other provider characteristics to improve access to BH services by ensuring that communities find themselves represented in their care providers. Efforts to fund equity and growth in the BH workforce are progressing through four projects: Peer Workforce Investment (PWI), Expanding Peer Organization Capacity (EPOC), the Mentored Internship Program (MIP) and the impending Recruitment and Retention project, slated for launch in Summer 2023.
The MIP project provides opportunities for students 18 and older and at multiple stages of their education to gain practical on-the-job experience. The goal of the MIP project is to enhance the professional development of diverse students through thoughtful mentored internships and to grow the future BH workforce.
The MIP grant funds California nonprofit behavioral health (BH) provider organizations, tribal organizations, and county-operated providers that deliver BH services (substance use disorder [SUD] treatment, mental health [MH] or co-occurring disorder programming) to adolescents, adults, or families. The project prioritizes organizations working in underserved and diverse communities.
Grant funding enables organizations to develop and implement in-house mentored internship programs in coordination with educational organization partners, such as community colleges, vocational programs, public and private colleges and universities and high schools. Grant funding covers:
- Mentor and intern salaries, training, and professional development.
- Subcontracts and direct expenses required for developing a mentored internship program at the BH organization.
- Community outreach to increase referrals.
- Costs related to the development of intern recruitment, application, and support processes at the educational partner.
- Training, technical assistance, and other supports for all involved.
Round 1 of the MIP project runs from April 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023, and supports 84 non-profit organizations and county-operated behavioral health service providers across 127 sites in 34 counties.
The map below shows county distribution of grantees.