Latino Mental Health Workforce Program

The Arsht-Cannon Fund’s
Latino Mental Health Workforce Program

Designed to increase access to mental and behavioral health care, this program is focused on building a much needed, highly qualified, professional group of bilingual and culturally-competent licensed clinical therapists, mental health counselors and psychiatric nurse practitioners to serve our growing Latino communities in Delaware.

Over the last few years, we have found that Delaware is in great need of more Master’s-prepared, licensed clinical social workers, clinical mental health counselors, and psychiatric nurse practitioners who are Spanish-speaking, culturally competent, and intend to stay in Delaware to work with our Latino families. While the Arsht-Cannon Fund has a history of supporting Hispanic-serving non-profit organizations that provide mental and behavioral health services with grant funding, the challenge remains to fill these positions with qualified bilingual, bicultural therapists, counselors, and nurse practitioners.

Mental health needs are escalating for many Latino families with members who are Spanish speakers. For the many immigrant families who have no health insurance, are ineligible for insurance, or feel that they should be able to handle their difficult feelings and thoughts, accessing mental or behavioral health care is difficult. Where it is available, long waiting times for appointments result from the severe shortage of clinicians who can both communicate with them as well as provide culturally-relevant support. Sources of stress which seem overwhelming to our Latino families stem from efforts to integrate into our society, language and cultural differences, generational differences in previously close-knit families, grief and loss, and the prevalence of poverty due to lack of employment. Many families isolate themselves for protection due to their immigration status. When immigration reform occurs, many of these families traumatized by the loss of family members will seek mental and behavioral health services to help them recover.

The Arsht-Cannon Fund’s Latino Mental Health Workforce Program is a statewide program with endeavors to:

  1. Interest and recruit Delaware bilingual high school and college undergraduate students into clinical mental and behavioral health careers,
  2. Partially fund graduate-level tuition fees for bilingual Delaware students enrolled in accredited, Master’s programs* for Clinical Social Work, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. These “Arsht-Cannon Scholars” must agree to be licensed in Delaware and work in Delaware’s Latino communities for at least 4 years beyond their program graduation, and
  3. Fund the tuition of one full-time, bilingual, PhD student to assist in building the Latino Mental Health Workforce Program. Over a period of years, this student will work collaboratively with mental and behavioral health practitioners in Delaware to grow the quantity and quality of care available to all of our communities.

*-competitive partial tuition support for full-time and part-time Master’s students in colleges and universities within 50 miles of Delaware borders. These tuition grants are renewable based on eligibility, quality of application, academic status, financial need, and availability of annual funds.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants must

  1. Be graduates of Delaware high schools and/or current residents of Delaware for at least 2 years.
  2. Be fluent in Spanish and English with skills in speaking, reading and writing.
  3. Be committed to complete graduate education program and prepare for licensure.
  4. Be committed to practice in a clinical setting with Latino clients, including some who have limited resources to reimburse costs of care, for at least 4 years beyond program graduation year.
  5. Participate in the Latino Mental Health Workforce Program by mentoring high school and/or baccalaureate students who have interests in learning about, and entering mental health care professions. Be willing to talk to students about careers in mental health and/or present to groups on mental health topics, as invited.
  6. Once licensed, be willing to supervise Master’s program graduates working towards licensure, if requested.

Completed applications must be submitted electronically to Dr. Christine Cannon, Executive Director, Arsht-Cannon Fund at [email protected] by the application deadline of April 15th for funding of tuition starting in September of that year (Example: April 15, 2016 application deadline for funding to start September of the 2016-2017 school year. Student notification and scholarship check will be deposited at the student’s school no later than June 30. 2016.)

Students interested in funding after one year of funding will be contacted by Dr. Christine Cannon by March 1 with information needed for continued funding support.

Questions and inquiries about the program can be made to Dr. Christine Cannon, Executive Director, Arsht-Cannon Fund at [email protected]

Apply for the Arsht-Cannon Fund