Behavioral Health

“I feel as though this has been extremely beneficial for my peace of mind, going into my masters program. Going into school and having to take out loans to live off of and also pay tuition was really stressful for me and made me feel like I was already going to be behind financially leaving my masters program. With this program, I get the opportunity to not only be supported mentally and emotionally throughout the program, but I get to leave the masters program knowing that I can start my life without the financial burdens of debt payback, and I can actually move forward with looking into buying a home and starting my family. I look forward to continuing to attend support groups and receive support one on one! Thanks so much for everything you all do! ” -Jackie MSW

Oregon Behavioral Health Program

NOW has led the development of the first apprenticeship-based behavioral health career pathway in Oregon. The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) was formed in 2021 with funds from a Healthy Oregon Workforce Training Opportunity (HOWTO) Grant from the Oregon Health Authority. NOW implemented the program to address the workforce shortages in allied and behavioral health in the Northwest Oregon workforce area, while concurrently promoting increased equity and diversity in the healthcare workforce by recruiting and training members of the Latinx and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

The HOWTO program is comprised of three levels. The first level includes: Peer Support Specialists, Community/Traditional Health Workers, and Certified Recovery Mentors. The second level includes: Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselors I (CADC-I), and Qualified Mental Health Associates (QMHA). The third level includes: scholarships for clinicians completing Masters-level credentials as: Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs).

In September 2021, NOW was awarded a State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation (SAEEI) Grant from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to expand the geographic scope of the Oregon Behavioral Health JATC, formed in April 2021. The specific focus of the SAEEI grant is to upskill those working in addictions to become licensed Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors. The apprenticeship grant extends its reach beyond NOW’s five covered counties to include Linn County. The goal is to increase the number of employers to be served/apprentices enrolled in Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln, Tillamook and Linn counties as part of the Oregon Behavioral Health JATC.

In addition to the HOWTO and SAEEI grant, NOW has also received funding from local CCOs for both Bachelors and Masters level students working towards a degree in Behavioral Health. InterHealth Community Network (IHN) covering Linn, Benton and Lincoln County and Columbia Pacific (ColPac) covering Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook Counties have made it possible to provide additional support beyond the scope of the HOWTO grants.

For more information on the Behavioral Health Career Pathway Program contact Adrienne Peters at adrienne@nworegonworks.org.

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Testimonials

“I feel as though this has been extremely beneficial for my peace of mind, going into my masters program. Going into school and having to take out loans to live off of and also pay tuition was really stressful for me and made me feel like I was already going to be behind financially leaving my masters program. With this program, I get the opportunity to not only be supported mentally and emotionally throughout the program, but I get to leave the masters program knowing that I can start my life without the financial burdens of debt payback, and I can actually move forward with looking into buying a home and starting my family. I look forward to continuing to attend support groups and receive support one on one! Thanks so much for everything you all do! ”

Jackie , MSW

“I can’t express the amount of gratitude I have for the program at NW Oregon Works. Not only have I been supported financially providing me the opportunity to access trainings and text books to add to my education, I feel supported in the skills I am learning to better the services I provide for the population I work with. The women respond promptly and are available. I have enjoyed my time in the program so far and look forward to the future and what it brings.”

Merideth , CADC

“I am incredibly grateful that this grant has been made available, especially for those of us who are members of traditionally marginalized communities. There are a lot of benefits that this has provided for me personally. Of course, covering the cost of the additional courses I needed in order to pursue licensure as an LPC is undeniably a big part of this grant. Equally as important to the financial aspect, is being provided direct and open access to mentors, support groups, and other professionals in this field working in various regions across Oregon. Folx who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, or disabled frequently struggle to find experienced and qualified individuals who are willing to mentor us and having this built into the grant has helped me feel connected and supported in this work. Along with this, I’ve really enjoyed the ability to connect with others working in the field who are following a similar trajectory that I did to apply for the LPC. Prior to being selected for the grant, I believed that I must be the only one out there who was following a non-traditional course to licensing. I have found that it is actually not an uncommon process at all, which is both validating and encouraging. This grant is absolutely the reason I am able to pursue this professional pathway and I really hope it continues to be available to support others who need it!”

Destinie , QMHP

“I can’t express the amount of gratitude I have for the program at NW Oregon Works. Not only have I been supported financially providing me the opportunity to access trainings and text books to add to my education, I feel supported in the skills I am learning to better the services I provide for the population I work with. The women respond promptly and are available. I have enjoyed my time in the program so far and look forward to the future and what it brings.”

Christopher , CADC/MSW

“This program has helped me stay afloat. Thus far I have utilized $600.00 of my grant towards gasoline for my vehicle and groceries. Without the help I’m not sure what we would have done. Knowing I can reach out for some type of assistance has prevented me from applying to other jobs, where I will make a little less of an income in a different field. I don’t qualify state or federal assistance, so the helping hand is greatly appreciated. Also having the space to communicate with others who understand this journey is unmatched. ”

Miranda , QMHA

Behavioral Health Apprenticeship Program

NOW has led the development of the first apprenticeship-based behavioral health career pathway in Oregon.  The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) was formed in 2021 with funds from a Healthy Oregon Workforce Training Opportunity (HOWTO) Grant from the Oregon Health Authority.  NOW implemented the program to address the workforce shortages in allied and behavioral health in the Northwest Oregon workforce area, while concurrently promoting increased equity and diversity in the healthcare workforce by recruiting and training members of the Latinx and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communties.

The behavioral health apprenticeship program is comprised of three levels.  The first level results in: certified Mental Health Counselors, Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselors I (CADC I), Qualified Mental Health Associates (QMHA), Peer Support Specialists (PSS), Community Health Workers (CHW).  The second encompasses mid-level positions requiring Associates or Bachelors degrees such as:  Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADCs), mental health Case Managers, and other Qualified Mental Health Associates (QMHAs).  The program also includes scholarships for a third level of training to clinicians completing Masters-level credentials as:  Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs).

In September 2021, NOW and its regional partner Willamette Workforce Partnership (serving Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties), were awarded a State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation (SAEEI) Grant from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to expand the geographic scope of the Oregon Behavioral Health JATC, formed in April 2021, to include the counties served by WWP (Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill) and increase the number of employers to be served/apprentices enrolled in Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln and Tillamook counties as part of the Oregon Behavioral Health JATC.

For more information on the Behavioral Health Apprenticeship Program contact Adrienne Peters at adrienne@onwib.org.