$3M in grants to support mental health services in underserved Michigan areas

Michigan could soon have more mental health care providers in areas underrepresented thanks to grants totaling almost $3 million.
(KEYC News Now)
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:37 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will help the Michigan State University College of Nursing with a $1.6 million grant. This will help train mental health-prepared nurses to serve underserved areas across the state.

There will be a five-year, National Institutes of Health grant of approximately $1.3 million that will focus on increasing the number of nurses and medical doctors from Michigan’s underrepresented communities trained in substance abuse disorders through leading-edge research and clinical activities.

“It is reassuring to see both state and federal leaders recognize the importance of having health care providers who are trained in mental health,” said Dr. Leigh Small, interim dean of the MSU College of Nursing. “These are investments in our health care system that will result in positive patient outcomes across our state, especially in underrepresented areas.”

The $1.6 million grant, from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), will be applied to the MSU College of Nursing’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program (PMHNP) and is for recruitment and retention to increase PMHNPs in the state of Michigan.

According to PMHNP Program Director Dr. Dawn Goldstein, who is also the principal investigator on the MDHHS grant, the funding will assist with target recruitment efforts of registered nurses (RNs), or existing advanced practice RNs interested in applying to the PMHNP program at either the master’s, doctoral, or postgraduate certificate levels.

Newly recruited students who receive stipends must commit to meeting the critical mental health and substance use disorders in Michigan’s medically underserved populations.

The program will focus on three key areas:

1. Recruiting members of underrepresented groups using multiple strategies and existing Michigan State University initiatives to participate in mentored research

2. Refining and delivering an inter-professional, evidence-based, and stigma-reducing addiction curriculum for students

3. Recruiting a subset of students engaged in training to participate in inter-professional research collaborations geared toward launching a research career

Dawn Goldstein, PMHNP Program Director, who is also the principal investigator on the MDHHS grant, said “Mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) are increasingly prevalent issues throughout the state,” Goldstein said. “This effort will promote a pipeline of advanced practice registered nurses and physician clinician-scientists from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds who will be poised to be leaders in the areas of SUD and addiction medicine.”

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