142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Using Integrated Behavioral Health in Mississippi to Increase Workforce Capacity: Leveraging Training and Social Work Internships

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 11:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Tim Rehner, PhD , School of Social Work, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Mississippi Gulf Coast has less than 50% of their mental health provider positions filled.  This presentation will demonstrate efforts to address this shortage through the Mississippi Integrated Health and Disaster Program (MIHDP). The program provides graduate social work students with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively integrate behavioral health into primary care settings. 

Methods: The MIHDP internship and training program begins with a competitive application process open to MSW students entering their advanced year of training. Selected students are assigned to primary care clinics to complete 450 hours of training over 2 semesters.  Following an initial orientation/training period they are assigned a case load of patients with a chronic health condition (diabetes, hypertension, etc) who also are challenged with mental health symptoms (depression, anxiety, etc.). Student contacts are supervised and reviewed by licensed social work team leaders. 

Findings: Thus far, 23 MSW students have completed the internship.  Between August 2013 and May 2014 interns saw 444 new patients.  Additionally, they had 329 follow up contacts, consulted in patient care 76 times, and made 446 phone calls to support behavior plans.

Conclusions: The MIHDP model has significantly increased the behavioral health services available to primary care patients along the Mississippi Coast.  Prior students’ impression of the training within an integrated health model has been positive. The ability to shape MSW student’s future practice within an integrated health perspective and deliver mental health services to underserved patients is a win-win situation.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Mississippi Integrated Health and Disaster Program Internship Training Model Demonstrate the impact of the training model on the number of patients served within local clinics.

Keyword(s): Mental Health System, Community-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Director of the Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project of Mississippi, I play a key role in project coordination, implementation, and research. Evaluation and research of behavioral health care issues has been an ongoing initiative of mine. I have been working with the MBHCP-MS project since its inception and will continue to work to ensure its efficacy of integrating community based mental and behavioral health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.