NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Northwestern State University says a $1.9 million grant from the federal government to its College of Nursing and School of Allied Health will help expand the delivery of mental health services to underserved areas of Louisiana through telehealth.
“This grant means that more students will be able to participate in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. More importantly, however, this grant means that residents in underserved areas will have greater access to mental health services,” Dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health at Northwestern State, Dr. Joel Hicks said.
Northwestern State was one of 56 recipients to receive $22 million in awards for 2021-22 as part of the Behavioral Health Workforce and Education Training Program for Professionals.
“The recent pandemic emphasized the need for innovation in healthcare delivery. This grant will help support and develop telehealth delivery within our program and experiential learning sites, which not only improves access to underserved communities but also ensures future nurse practitioners are prepared to effectively use the technology in the care they provide.”
According to Northwestern State University, the grant begins in July and will run through June 2025. Funding will support stipends for trainees in final experiential training and support educational activities in telehealth delivery for students, faculty, and community partners.
The project has three primary objectives. The first is to increase multidisciplinary training experiences for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students that integrate behavioral health care for high-risk, high-needs youth, adolescents, and transition-aged youth within primary care environments.
Other objectives are to develop strategies for technology integration in the provision of behavioral healthcare by Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners and recruit a PMHNP workforce that expands the diversity of the targeted geographic areas.
NSU says students in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration must complete 608 clinical hours throughout the program, most of which are located within rural and underserved Health Professional Shortage Areas.
You can view the full release here.