UM, MSU get $1.9M grant for mental health training

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University of Montana counseling professor Jayna Mumbauer-Pisano, left, and Montana State University nursing professor Tracy Hellem are pictured on Aug. 27 in Missoula.

Kelly Gorham/MSU Zoe Buchli

The University of Montana and Montana State University are receiving a four-year, $1.9 million grant for a program that helps students learn how to serve individuals with mental health care needs.

The Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program is funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

It aims to equip students pursuing careers as psychiatric mental health and nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, licensed social workers or licensed professional counselors with the skills needed to work with people affected by mental health issues.

“One of the most pressing challenges facing our state is access to mental health services,” UM spokesman Dave Kuntz said, adding he believes the behavioral health program will help combat this.

For the duration of the grant, funding will be given to 72 MSU and UM graduate students to deliver and integrate professional services into existing institutions, agencies and

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