The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has granted $2.4 million in funding to the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Nursing to increase access to mental health care and substance abuse treatment among American Indian communities in Western New York.
Provided as three separate grants, the awards will allow the university to hire nursing staff and train nursing students in rural and underserved areas, develop mental health and substance abuse screening and treatment programs, and provide telehealth access for remote treatment.
Yu-Ping Chang, associate professor and associate dean for research and scholarship in the UB School of Nursing, will be partnering with the Tuscarora Health Center, the only primary care clinic serving the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Lewiston, to increase access to mental health and substance abuse screening and treatment at the facility. Chang tells the UB News Center:
“American Indians and Alaskan Natives have endured both limited and differential access to resources, creating disparities in health status and a lack of exposure to quality health care when compared with other racial and ethnic groups. They also have increased risks for many health conditions, including mental health and substance abuse, which leads to higher mortality rates.”
The grants are intended to fund the development of an interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) team to lead screenings and behavioral health care, and to provide clinical training to graduate students in the UB School of Nursing and School of Social Work. To learn more about UB’s efforts to expand mental health care access for American Indian communities, visit here.
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