School of Social Work

Behavioral health workforce education and training for professionals program

In fall 2021, The University of Missouri (MU) School of Social Work, in partnership with the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) School of Social Work, received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the BHWET Program for Professionals is to increase the supply of behavioral health professionals while also improving distribution of a quality behavioral health workforce and thereby increasing access to behavioral health services.

The four-year training project is designed to prepare 120 (30 per year; 15 per campus) trainees for professional clinical practice in integrated behavioral health (IBH) and collaborative team settings. Each participating student will receive a stipend of $10,000 while they complete their advanced placement practicum.

Under this Integrated Health training grant, students are required to complete their practicum at an agency providing behavioral healthcare in an interprofessional, team-based care setting. Grantees are also strongly encouraged to work with persons in rural, vulnerable and/or high need communities. Students will be trained to work with clients across the lifespan, but a specific focus will be on understanding the unique behavioral health needs of children, adolescents, and transitional age youth.

The grant also will fund several in-person and web-based trainings, as well as provide training materials to behavioral health professionals throughout the state.

About Integrated Behavioral Health

In 2012, Missouri became the first state in the nation to implement a federally approved system of community mental health center healthcare homes. Missouri’s Behavioral Healthcare Home program is a nationally recognized innovative best practice for serving Medicaid beneficiaries with severe mental illness and substance abuse disorders and has shown significant cost savings for the state of Missouri and improved health outcomes through integrated care and disease management.

Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) is an emerging model of health care in which behavioral health and other health providers collaborate to provide holistic care to individuals. Many people believe that IBH is simply making sure two providers communicate with one another or making sure a client has access to both physical health care and behavioral health care. It is much more than that. IBH is a formal integration of both services from personnel to treatment planning to documentation and evaluation. It is targeting specific sets of clients through population-based data to have the most impact possible. While there are many aspects that make up IBH, the overall goals are simple: change lives, reduce costs and improve quality of care for vulnerable populations.

IBH at the MU School of Social Work

At the MU School of Social Work, we are dedicated to educating all staff and disciplines currently working in integrated behavioral health settings through trainings provided both in person and via webinars.

As a school, we also want to educate our students that plan to work in this emerging and exciting area for social workers. To educate our students more fully about integrated behavioral health, we now offer, in conjunction with UMSL, the following courses:

  1. SW 7220: Advanced Social Work Practice in Integrated Health Care (MU) — Course description: The course will introduce students to the essential practice skills needed to effectively address the challenges of integrating services, care and support for persons with health, mental health, and substance use problems.
  2. SW 6443: Health Care Policy (UMSL) — Course description: The course focuses on the role of social workers as social policy practitioners within an Integrated Behavioral Health environment. Strategies to influence policies and promote change in the interest of service consumer, agency and society will be presented.

Please visit these websites for more information on IBH:

Apply for the grant

Learn about grant requirements and application instructions.

Educational webinars

Earn clock hours or CEU certificates.