A Healthier Wisconsin

Mental Health Workforce Development Pilot Project

Improving service access and quality for adult and children survivors of intimate partner violence

Full Project Name:Mental Health Workforce Development Pilot ProjectPrimary Community Organization:Jewish Family ServicesPrimary Academic Partner:Albina Zimany, MD, Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineAward Amount:$113,966
Award Date
Project Duration:18 months

Project Description Narrative:

Demand for mental health services continues to increase in the U.S. and outpace the available professionals to provide treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration predicts that by 2025 the U.S. will have shortages of 48,540 social workers and 26,930 mental health counselors.

The American Psychological Association agrees, adding that Medicaid recipients and community-based settings will be most impacted. In Wisconsin, the number of residential mental health and substance abuse facilities is predicted to decrease by 2.5% in 2022. These impending shortages will be exacerbated by an increased need for mental health services, with the National Council for Behavioral Health indicating that by 2030 demand for behavioral health services will increase for addiction counselors by 21- 30%, mental health counselors by 18-20%, and social workers 15%.

This pilot project enables Jewish Family Services and Sojourner Family Peace Center—Wisconsin's largest provider of intimate partner violence prevention and intervention services—to leverage their longstanding expertise in intimate partner violence and strengthen their community partnerships with local universities. The project aims to train and expand a generation of intimate partner violence-informed mental health clinicians while meeting the increased demand for mental health services.

The proposed project aims to improve the mental health practitioner workforce's training and capacity to serve intimate partner violence survivors by enhancing the current clinical training program for interns who will practice within the field.

Community partners: Jewish Family Services, Sojourner Family Peace Center

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Recruited and trained six master’s level clinicians
  • Developed and finalized trauma-informed clinical training curriculum using evidence-based frameworks and survivor feedback
  • Reviewed, prepared, and made initial improvements to current referral process
  • Enrolled IPV survivors in direct services with project trainees

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