There is a critical shortage in mental health services providers nationally, especially in underserved areas such as rural communities. According to the 2016 Health Affairs report, more than half of the counties in the United States have zero psychiatrists available to provide needed services. In Riverside County, the ratio of psychiatrists to the general population is 5:100,000. When a team at University of California, San Francisco ranked all the major regions of California by the number of behavioral healthcare professionals per capita, the Inland Empire and San Joaquin Valley were ranked last in 2016.
The Loma Linda University Department of Social Work and Social Ecology recently received a grant to provide mental health pipeline information meetings at regional community colleges and universities. The aim of these meetings has been to educate students on the needs of the community as well as the necessity for increasing the number of well-qualified behavioral health providers. Three different modules were developed and used in presenting to students: Public Mental Health; Integrated Behavioral Health; and Recovery, Resiliency, and Wellness. Faculty and students have teamed up to co-present, engaging the audience in discussion about mental health, its challenges, and what can done to address those challenges by getting more people trained in behavioral health.
If you have any contact information for professors who might be interested in having us present in their classroom, please contact Terry Forrester at email@example.com or Kelly Baek at firstname.lastname@example.org. Presenters have flexibility in their schedules to accommodate various class times.
► Read about the SBH Mental Health Pipeline Program taking place this summer!