Wednesday, July 25, 2018

APA Awarded $7.1M for Fellowship Aimed at Improving Mental Health Care for Underserved Populations

APA has been awarded a five-year, $7.1 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand the reach of APA’s Minority Fellowship Program. The amount of the grant is almost double that of the grant awarded to APA to support the fellowships in the previous five-year cycle.

SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) grants support organizations committed to achieving the following goals: (1) reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for underserved populations and (2) encourage more racial and ethnic minorities to join the behavioral health workforce. While racial and ethnic minorities make up more than 28% of the nation’s population, less than 20% of America’s mental health workforce consists of members of racial or ethnic minorities, according to SAMHSA.

MFP fellows must be a racial/ethnic minority or have an interest in reducing mental health disparities. Each fellowship is for one to two years, and each fellow is awarded $25,000 for a research project in addressing mental health disparities.

The grant will allow APA to expand and deploy robust programs that enable SAMHSA to continue its MFP mission and help APA with its goal of ensuring mental health equity for all. Leveraging APA technology and resources, MFP fellows will be provided individualized support for their projects on mental health disparities as well as mentorship from fellow MFP recipients, MFP alumni, and APA leaders.

“Addressing racial disparities in health care is a core part of the APA strategic plan and a specific focus in my presidential term,” said APA President Altha Stewart, M.D. “The increased funding will allow us to expand the work of the fellows and support training that will impact the ability of all our members to provide culturally appropriate care and improve outcomes for all patients, especially those in minority and underserved communities. The fact that SAMHSA nearly doubled the annual funding shows the importance and value of this effort, and we look forward to this APA program supporting our work to achieve mental health equity.”

Since 1974, APA has supported more than 500 MFP fellows, many of whom continue to support underserved communities and remain leaders in the field of psychiatry. To find out more about the program, click here.

(Image: iStock/Steve Debenport)


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