Mental Health Program
Through an interagency agreement with the Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development (OSHPD), the Mental Health Program (MHP) provides funding for stipends for MSW students at California schools of social work who are planning careers in the mental health system. the MPH also supports related academic and administrative activities.
The MHP provides schools with training for faculty, curriculum development tools, and technical assistance for implementation. It requires that each school implement an adaptable curriculum to teach competencies for behavioral health careers in the public sector.
Each school has addressed the curriculum competencies in academic and field education through:
- specialized seminars,
- incorporation of competencies into foundation and advanced social work courses,
- tailored field work experiences, and
- modules that have been specifically written for the program.
Evaluation mechanisms ensure that the program is progressing toward the goal of preparing a diverse social work workforce for a rapidly changing, recovery-oriented system.
MSW students, selected by each school to receive a stipend of $18,500 in the final year of graduate studies, complete specialized courses and field placements and have a payback obligation to work for one year in a county-operated or contract community-based mental health agency.
In its first five years of operation (2005–2010), nearly 1,000 MHP students graduated from MSW programs.
- Each cohort of graduates is ethnically and linguistically diverse;
- Ninety-four (94%) percent have completed their payback obligation; and
- Over 90% of the first three cohorts have continued to work at a publicly funded mental health agency.