Colusa County Behavioral Health announced recently that the student loan repayment opportunity is once again available for Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) employees entering the public mental health field as a career. Since its origin in 2009, a number of Colusa County Behavioral Health employees have successfully taken part in the Mental Health Loan Assumption Program while pursuing and completing degrees in the mental health field.
This opportunity is expressly designed to promote the development of a strong, stable and diverse workforce within Colusa County Behavioral Health.
The student loan repayment program is a component of the county’s Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Workforce Education and Training (WET) plan.
Funding has been allocated to provide scholarships designed to fully repay student loans (up to $10,000 as determined by loan amount and degree) for individuals who earn a Bachelors Degree in the mental health field, including administration/finance, or a Master’s Degree in Social Work or Marriage Family Therapy.
Colusa County Department of Behavioral Health Mental Health Services Act coordinator Dereck Parks commented that the goal of the program is to provide Colusa County DBH employees with an opportunity for career advancement in the public mental health field by earning advanced degrees.
“Additionally, the department’s goal is to have a fair process for awarding scholarships to employees, resulting in a more stable, educated , diverse and local workforce,” Parks said.
Counties determine which professions are eligible for their County’s hard-to-fill/retain positions. Eligible professions include but are not limited to, registered or licensed psychologists or psychiatrists, postdoctoral psychological assistants, psychological trainees, registered or licensed marriage and family therapists, social workers, professional clinical counselors, professional clinical counselor interns, and registered psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in California.
Applications for the 2013 cycle will be available for electronic submittal at calreach.oshpd.ca.gov. Completed scholarship or loan repayment applications may be submitted beginning July 1, 2013 and no later than October 1, 2013.
Other criteria for scholarship recipients are that he or she must be accepted by an academic program and be in good standing to receive the award. Scholarship recipients will be required to attend an orientation regarding the scholarship process.
Applicants must show promise in and commitment to a career in the field of mental health in Colusa County.