Graduate students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will receive specialized training from a UT Health San Antonio faculty member to help patients in underserved Texas communities.
The work is supported by a four-year, $800,000 grant from the Health Resources and Service Administration Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program.
The Program for the Integrated Training of Counselors in Behavioral Healthcare (PITCH) is a four-year program that will recruit and train 12 clinical mental health counseling students a year to work in integrated behavioral health care (IBH) settings – settings in which medical and behavioral professionals work collectively.
Students who participate in the program will receive specialized integrated behavioral health training from Stacy Ogbeide, Psy.D., assistant professor/clinical in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Department of Psychiatry at UT Health.
“I am looking forward to training the graduate behavioral health students and primary care clinics in the primary care behavioral health (PCBH) consultation model. My hope for this training program is to create health care environments in which integrated primary care will be a standard of care in Texas and beyond,” said Dr. Ogbeide.
Through a partnership with UT Health San Antonio, PITCH will also establish five integrated behavioral health internship sites in the local community, including the University Health System’s Robert B. Green Campus in downtown San Antonio, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, and a rural medical practice in Pearsall, Texas.
The program, under the direction of UTSA counseling professors Heather Trepal, Shane Haberstroh and Jessica Lloyd-Hazlett in the College of Education and Human Development, will help provide critical mental health services to rural and underserved populations.
“This grant leverages the collaborative strengths between UTSA, UT Health San Antonio and other health care sites in the region where the students will be completing their internships,” said Trepal.