(CLOSED) HRSA-21-090 Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Paraprofessionals

Sponsor Name: 
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Description of the Award: 

The purpose of the BHWET Program for Paraprofessionals is to develop and expand community-based experiential training to increase the supply of students preparing to become peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessionals while also improving distribution of a quality behavioral health workforce. A special focus is placed on the knowledge and understanding of the specific concerns of children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth in high need and high demand areas at risk for behavioral health disorders.

Program Goals

  1. Establish relationships with community-based partners (e.g., emergency departments, faith-based organizations, first responders, judicial systems, health centers, social services, community policing organizations, recovery community organizations or other peer-based recovery support organizations to expand and improve access to quality behavioral health services including but not limited to OUD and other SUD prevention, treatment recovery services in high need and high demand areas.
  2. Promote collaborative training by utilizing team-based models of care in integrated and interprofessional behavioral health and primary care settings.
  3. Recruit a workforce that reflects participation in the institutions’ programs of individuals and groups from different racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, religious, linguistic, and class backgrounds, and different genders and sexual orientations, interested in serving high need and high demand areas.

Program Objectives

  1. Increase the number of experiential training sites to promote peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessional student/trainee competencies around evidence-supported behavioral health including but not limited to OUD and other SUD prevention and treatment modalities used in integrated and interprofessional team-based practice settings. Experiential placements must include interdisciplinary training of two or more health disciplines using a team-based care approach to provide quality behavioral health services in high need and high demand areas.
  2. Enhance didactic and experiential training activities through the development of competencies in primary and integrated team based trauma-informed care, for peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessional students/trainees in Level I pre-service and/or Level II in-service training in a behavioral health-related paraprofessional field.
  3. Establish community based partnerships to ensure participation in the institutions’ programs of individuals and groups from different racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, religious, linguistic, and class backgrounds, and different genders and sexual orientations, opportunities for field placements, community education, career development, and provide job placement services.
  4. Promote technology integration in the provision of peer support specialist and other behavioral health-related paraprofessional services and training programs, including utilizing telehealth services, implementing strategies to increase digital health literacy, and offering options for distance learning.
  5. Reduce financial barriers for peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessionals by providing financial support to trainees in the form of tuition/fees, supplies, and stipends.

HHS and HRSA Priorities
Combatting the opioid crisis is an HHS priority, and advancing the competencies of the health workforce is a HRSA priority. The BHWET program addresses these priorities by advancing the behavioral health competencies of the paraprofessional workforce across disciplines, and increasing the behavioral health workforce in high need and high demand areas, through collaboration with community based partnerships.

BHWET-Paraprofessionals TA Webinar

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 from 3 - 4:30 p.m. ET
Join the webinar HRSA Exit Disclaimer
Dial-in: 800-988-9757 | Passcode: 8169279

Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Apr 12, 2021
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, click on the submit application on the InfoReady page and follow the required prompts to give us your contact information. If interest exceeds the sponsor's institutional limit, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research will hold an internal Limited Submissions competition after the Notice of Intent deadline.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
Penn State OVPR NOI Deadline: 
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 4:00pm
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
Notes: 
Margaret Bacheler (OSVPCC)