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Mental Health Counseling Program Earns Grant to Fund New Training Program

December 7, 2016

There is a significant shortage of mental health providers to meet the needs of children in the greater Rochester region. The Graduate Program in Mental Health Counseling at St. John Fisher College hopes to address that by providing students with enhanced opportunities to gain cutting-edge skills to effectively counsel this underserved population.

Wegmans School of Nursing

Housed in the College’s Wegmans School of Nursing, the Mental Health Counseling Program’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Counselor Training Program will launch this spring thanks to a $292,000 grant from Health Resources and Services Administration.

With the program, the School will provide expanded support and training for 22 mental health counseling graduate students who have an expressed interest in serving children and adolescents with mental and behavioral health concerns in Rochester.  

“These needs are even greater in the City of Rochester where the prevalence of mental illness in children is exacerbated by poverty, trauma, homelessness, and parental illness,” said Dr. Robert Rice, clinical director of the School’s Mental Health Counseling program, which will oversee the training initiative. “It is imperative that we increase the number of mental health counselors who are properly equipped to provide effective mental health counseling services to the growing number of young people who need it, but at present are not receiving it.”

Participants in the training program will spend their six-month field placements working with youth-focused organizations and clinical learning sites. Through the initiative, the program also hopes to develop expanded relationships with agencies serving children, adolescents, and transition-age youth in the Rochester area.

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number HRSA-16-193, Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) for Paraprofessionals and Professionals, $292,076. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.