LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#BehaviorialScience–UCLA Extension, a national leader in comprehensive continuing and professional education programs, today announced a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support the creation of a Behavioral Health Support Specialist Training Certificate (BHSS). The program provides training to upskill paraprofessionals to address the needs of the LGBTQIA+ population of greater Los Angeles.
“UCLA Extension’s mission and 100-year history support the advancement and empowerment of individuals,” said Eric A. Bullard, Dean of Continuing Education and UCLA Extension. “This grant removes financial barriers to access training in the Behavioral Health Support Specialist Program and allows us to serve the needs of the greater LGBTQIA+ community in greater Los Angeles.”
Evidence indicates the LGBTQIA+ population is underserved in the areas of behavioral disorders, violence, and homelessness. The certificate addresses gaps with evidence-based training for healthcare support workers (and non-clinical staff) by developing knowledge, skills, and practice to meet the needs to mitigate and help prevent behavioral health concerns.
The Behavioral Health Support Specialist Training Certificate totals 33.5 academic credit units and consists of nine (9) courses: Fundamentals of the U.S. Health and Behavioral Healthcare Systems; Health Care Law, Legal Issues, and Ethics in Behavioral Health; Fundamentals of Human Sexuality; Working with Diverse Populations in Behavioral Health; Behavioral Health Support Practice; Communication Strategies in Behavioral Health Care; Navigating High-Stakes Conversations and Motivating Patients; Supervised Field Work (Internship); Capstone Project in Behavioral Health Support.
With an anticipated cohort of 26 students per year, the program enables trainees to obtain a California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals Education Institute (CCAPP-EI) credential for behavioral health workers, with credits and training hours eligible for different types of credentials offered by CCAPP-EI, depending on their desired career path. The goal is to put health support workers on a path of career advancement. The certificate training is at no cost for tuition and students receive a stipend of $5,000 per trainee to complete the program.
There are collaborations with community-based organizations – CRI-Help, Being Alive, Los Angeles LGBTQ Center, and United American Indian Involvement, Inc. – and Custom Programs and Corporate Education (CPCE) at UCLA Extension manages the program, advisory board, and student cohort.
“Working with community-based organizations as well as health care experts has allowed us to develop a unique program,” said Denis Couturier, Program Director, Custom Programs and Corporate Education. “Our community partners are very supportive of professional development.”
UCLA Extension instructor Benjamin O. Toubia, PsyD, contributed subject matter guidance on the Behavioral Health Support Specialist grant proposal. He is a marriage and family therapist, community health expert and LGBTQIA+ affirmative treatment specialist with experience in providing services for and teaching students about LGBTQ-affirmative treatment. Toubia’s research background and clinical practice stresses the importance of research on LGBTQ-specific issues as foundational for sustainable addiction recovery in the LGBTQ community.
The Behavioral Health Support Specialist Training Certificate begins in 2022. For more information, contact [email protected].
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,574,294. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.
UCLA Extension’s Custom Programs and Corporate Education unit (CPCE) exists to serve organizations with training and development needs for the current and future workforce. With collaborations across industries in entertainment, healthcare, and finance, as well as governmental agencies and community-based organizations and nonprofits, CPCE is a leading educational provider for domestic and international groups, offering in-person and online programs.
Founded in 1917 as the continuing education division of the University of California at Los Angeles, UCLA Extension has delivered the most advanced courses and certificates that annually enhance the careers of thousands of individuals across the United States and the world. UCLA Extension offers online and in-person courses for professionals in the arts, business, management, education, engineering and digital technology, entertainment studies, public policy, health care, humanities and sciences, and many other fields. Find out more at uclaextension.edu