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Investing in the Future of Mental Health Care

The University of Missouri (MU) School of Social Work and the University of Missouri- St. Louis (UMSL) School of Social Work received $1 million dollars from the United States Health Resources and Services Administration. The three-year grant is designed to provide funding for 84 students pursuing their masters or social work degrees (MSW) at the two universities.

Each student will earn $10,000 while they complete their clinical training at local organizations and agencies that provide integrated behavioral health services to the young adult population. This practical experience will allow the students to be able to immediately contribute their expertise to the Missouri community as soon as they graduate.

“In our state and throughout the U.S., those aged 16-25 often fall through the cracks and fail to get the services they need,” Marjorie Sable, director of MU School of Social Work and principal investigator for the grant explains. “This project will develop more professionals who are trained to meet the needs of these youth and thereby increase young adults’ access to services.”

“We’re excited to collaborate with UMSL’s School of Social Work, and it’s a natural partnership,” said Sable. “With UMSL’s urban presence and MU’s reach throughout the central and rural areas of the state, we’ll be able to reach a large population of Missourians. It’s a way for MU to uphold its land-grant mission of serving its citizens and improving their lives through education. ”

It is wonderful to see how other states are addressing the need for more behavioral health professionals while providing critical mental health care to an at-risk population. Offering Nebraska students an incentive to stay and work in rural Nebraska is vital in building and maintaining a strong mental health workforce within our state.

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About Jill Sauser, The Kim Foundation Project Coordinator

Jill graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. During her time at UNO, she completed a two year PR practicum program where she worked with numerous nonprofit clients including the MS Society, The Archdiocese of Omaha, The Omaha Food Bank and YWCA. Jill joined The Kim Foundation as Project Coordinator in April 2014.