UAlbany School of Social Welfare, Upstate Consortium Collaborate to Support Veterans' Health
The University at Albany's School of Social Welfare will lead a consortium of upstate New York schools of social work to support behavioral health initiatives for veterans. Under the umbrella of the Upstate New York Mental and Behavioral Health Education Consortium (UNY-MBHEC), the partners include the University at Buffalo, University at Binghamton, University at Brockport, Nazareth College of Rochester, Roberts Wesleyan College, and Syracuse University.
UAlbany's School of Social Welfare has secured a grant to advance veterans' health services.
The project, which is supported by a three-year, $480,253 competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is intended to increase social workers' capacity to address the mental and behavioral health needs of veterans, military personnel and their families, and residents of medically underserved rural communities. Professor Lynn Warner will lead UAlbany's efforts. The grant was one of only 13 funded by HRSA nationally.
"The UNY-MBHEC is a nationally significant workforce development, educational and high impact service collaborative. The broad reach and resources of the consortium, including our inter-professional partners and our specialized field placements with our community-based leaders ensure that more culturally competent behavioral health services will be offered to our high need veterans and others in upstate New York," said School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson.
"The goal is to unite top schools of social welfare in a collaborative effort to expand and evaluate behavioral health field placements and inter-professional initiatives serving veterans and other marginalized and high need groups, particularly in rural areas," said Warner, an associate professor of Social Welfare specializing in mental health and addictions policy.
"The project really pools the strengths of our Upstate social work programs; each School offers its unique piece to this collective effort," said Catherine Lawrence, an Assistant Research Professor of Social Welfare and co-author of the grant.
The initiative underscores the University's commitment to veterans and military personnel. Recently, UAlbany was designated by G.I. Jobs Magazine as "military friendly," one of several State University of New York campuses to be recognized. The recognition means that the schools get high marks in assisting military personnel when they return to civilian life. G.I. Jobs Magazine provides education, transition assistance and job opportunities for veterans.