Grant Programs, Media Center

HCAI awards $37.6 million in Grants to Develop and Expand Access to Behavioral Healthcare Services

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today the Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) announced the approval of $37.6 million in grant awards for 15 organizations to support psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner training programs and psychiatry residency programs.

The grant awards will be issued through the Psychiatric Education Capacity Expansion Grant program (PECE), which trains and prepares psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and psychiatry residents/fellows. The program is designed to address the severe shortage of behavioral health practitioners in California.

“California and the nation face a mental health crisis, which is why it’s so important we create a diverse mental health workforce,” said HCAI Director Elizabeth Landsberg. “These grants will support teaching institutions with resources to create and expand training programs to produce mental health professionals capable of providing quality care in communities most in need.”

The $37.6 million will support the training of 703 psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) students in 27 counties, and 45 psychiatry residents/fellows in 12 counties. Of the 45 psychiatry residents/fellows, the program will support adding 26 psychiatry residents, 13 child and adolescent fellows and 6 addiction fellows. The PECE program is supporting two new psychiatry residency programs located in San Diego County, and three new PMHNP training programs located in Orange, Sacramento, and San Diego counties.

See the entire list of awardees.

The PECE program provides funding to address the shortage of behavioral health practitioners in underserved communities. The program supports culturally competent and linguistically appropriate psychiatric care services to those at risk of behavioral health conditions, as well as children and youth involved in justice, child welfare, and/or at risk of homelessness.

“Access to behavioral health care in California is so important, especially for our youngest residents. I am pleased that portions of this funding will go toward training professionals who will serve our state’s youth,” said California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Our goal under the Master Plan for Kids Mental Health is to reimagine behavioral health and emotional well-being for all children, youth, and families in California. These grants are one step forward in reaching that goal.”

Funding for the PECE program is part of Governor Newsom’s Master Plan for Kids Mental Health and comes primarily from the $4.4 billion Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative that aims to transform California’s behavioral health system into an innovative ecosystem where all children and youth from birth to age 25 have access to services for emerging and existing behavioral health needs, regardless of health payer.