Grant awarded to School of Education will fund Psi Care program

Mal Hartigan

On Sept. 16, the School of Education received a two-year $353,340 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which will allow students pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology the opportunity to effectively merge mental health professionals into interprofessional health teams.
Interprofessional education encourages students from the schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine and Nursing and Health Studies to collaborate with one another in order to establish a higher quality of patient care. The School of Education’s new program, Psi CARE – Psychologists Collaborating and Advocating to Restore Equity – now integrates Counseling Psychology doctoral candidates into patient care to create a more effective, efficient and beneficial approach to interprofessional healthcare for disadvantaged populations in the urban core of Kansas City. Psi CARE intends to increase the number of psychologists with the appropriate knowledge, experience and skills to assist marginalized groups such as immigrants and refugees.
Psi CARE requires doctoral candidates to take four courses that effectively prepare them to work in primary health care centers that focus on caring for urban populations.
Psi CARE lead project director and professor in the division of counseling and educational psychology Dr. Joanna Nilsson intends for the program to provide minority populations with behavioral and mental health services, which are underutilized in comparison to minorities’ use of primary care and emergency health services.