The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2014 for the Now is the Time: Minority Fellowship Program- Addictions Counselors (NITT-MFP-AC) grants. The NITT-MFP-AC is part of the President’s Plan, Now is the Time, to increase behavioral health services for youth in America. This program expands the focus of the current MFP program to support master’s level addiction counselors. The purpose of this four-year grant program is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the number of culturally competent master’s level addiction counselors available to underserved minority populations with a specific focus on transition age youth (ages 16-25) in public and private non-profit sectors. The NITT-MFP-AC grants will support students pursuing master’s level degrees in addiction/substance abuse counseling.
The mental health and substance abuse needs of racial and ethnic minority communities within the United States have been historically underserved due to a variety of factors including a limited number of trained practitioners equipped with the language skills or cultural competency training that impact effective services delivery to this population. In 1974, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) established the MFP to enhance services to minority communities through specialized training of mental health professionals in psychiatry, nursing, social work, and psychology. In 1992, SAMHSA was established, and the MFP was transferred from NIMH to the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) within SAMHSA. Eligibility for this grant was expanded by Congress in FY 2007 to include a fifth professional association, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. In 2012, Congress added professional counselors as an eligible discipline.
The 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act appropriated funding for the expansion of the MFP program to provide stipends and tuition support to students pursuing master’s level training in addiction/substance abuse counseling. Part of the student’s program must include training on addiction issues associated with transition age youth (ages 16-25).
SAMHSA has demonstrated that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and substance use disorders. Substance abuse services improve health status and reduce health care and other costs to society. Continued improvement in the delivery and financing of substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery support services provides a cost effective opportunity to advance and protect the Nation’s health. To continue to improve the delivery and financing of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services, SAMHSA has identified eight Strategic Initiatives to focus the Agency’s work on people and emerging opportunities. More information is available at the SAMHSA website.
The NITT-MFP-AC seeks to address health disparities by providing stipends to individuals that have demonstrated commitment in working in underserved communities and working with underserved populations post fellowship (See Appendix H of the RFA: Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities).
NITT-MFP-AC grants are authorized under Section 509 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Substance Abuse Topic Area HP 2020-SA.