NYS investing $4 million in effort to increase mental health workforce diversity

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York State will be investing $4 million in an effort to increase mental health workforce diversity.

Governor Hochul announced Thursday that both the SUNY and CUNY systems will receive $2 million aimed at supporting students in under-represented communities.

The hope is the funding will help incentivize minority students to peruse degrees in the mental health field and that they will remain in New York upon graduation.

“As we continue to strengthen our health care system in New York, we must ensure that we build a diverse and inclusive workforce,” Governor Hochul said. “This partnership will provide incentives for underrepresented students to enroll or remain in mental health programs—helping diversify our future workforce and ensure that all communities are well-served by our public health care system.”

Students eligible for this assistance are those who are multilingual; enrolled in a language-specific degree program; or are of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, Latinx, Spanish origin, or are Native American, Alaska Native, Black, African American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

Eligible programs at CUNY include certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate programs in social work and human services; psychology; psychiatric nursing; and grief counseling and mental health counseling.

At SUNY community colleges, eligible programs include associate degree programs in liberal arts and sciences: humanities and social sciences with tracks or concentrations including mental health assistant, human services, sociology, and psychology. On four-year SUNY campuses, eligible degree programs include health and society; public health concentration; sociology and psychology.