Amherst receives federal grant for mental health treatment program

This program was among 12 that received grant support from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration.
This program was among 12 that received grant support from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration. | File photo
The College of Nursing at the University of  Massachusetts has been awarded an $870,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support the development of a training program for nursing students to carry out screenings, treatment referrals and brief intervention in cases of mental illness or cases involving substance abuse.
  
“We are optimistic about the SBIRT curricular approach to teaching behavior change,” Amherst’s principal investigator Donna  Zucker said. “We believe SBIRT: The Power of Nursing to Change Health has great potential to impact the medical system and in the long run improve patient outcomes.”

This program was among 12 that received grant support from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA).

“Ten years ago, I led the implementation of the university’s Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students, or BASICS, program with SAMHSA-CSAT funding,” Sally Linowski, the program's principal investigator, said. “That helped to upgrade UMass Amherst’s alcohol intervention programs for students to best practice. We’ve brought that team together with our nursing colleagues to continue this tradition of providing students with cutting-edge services and training opportunities.”

SBIRT will build on SAMHSA curricula and be implemented into courses on psychiatric and mental health through pediatric and young adult and community nursing. 

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