Houston, TX

UH graduate college of social work receives grant to enhance mental health workforce

Jackson Cutler

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HOUSTON, TX - University of Houston Graduate of Social Work has received a $1.9M grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration will use this grant mainly to increase the number of social workers and mental health professionals in Texas.

The social workers and counseling psychologist clinicians will be trained in the Global Leaders of Behavioral Health Education program. It is a team training focusing on serving children and young adults who are in medically underserved areas.

Furthermore, Texas is at the lowest rank of mental health access and treatments. This situation makes it even more complex than Harris County, where 25 percent of residents are foreign-born and 40 percent of them don't speak the same language at their homes.

However, McClain Sampson, GLOBE project director and associate professor of social work emphasizes that cultural competence is more than just speaking the same language.

She also added that Houston has the rapid growth of diverse populations, both ethnic and racial. Therefore, the multi-cultural graduates are ideally crucial to help patients have accessible mental health care and services.

Meanwhile, GLOBE has been working for 9 years to support young populations who struggle with mental health and substance abuse disorders. Recently, there will be 18 Master of Social Work and four counseling psychology graduate students for interprofessional training per year, where the student will learn about health disparities, telehealth, motivational interviewing, and beyond.

For Sampson, "good community medicine" is reached when the social workers, psychologists, medical doctors, and lawyers collaborate to overcome the challenges in the health care system for the well-being of patients.

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