The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has announced a new financial assistance program to increase West Virginia’s behavioral health workforce. DHHR’s Bureau of Behavioral Health and Public Health is seeking applications for the third round of the statewide Therapist Loan Repayment Program (STLR), focusing on recent master’s graduates in social work, counseling or psychology, including psychiatric nurse practitioners and children’s Psychiatrist.
“Our state’s children and our communities face incredible challenges, and too many are in emotional distress,” said Christina Mullins, DHHR Deputy Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. “The STLR program is focused on growing West Virginia’s behavioral health workforce to ensure that individuals can more easily receive high-quality, evidence-based care from skilled providers. We are committed to supporting mental health and substance use Treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities.”
Applicants in qualifying fields will apply for a partial loan to repay their educational expenses in exchange for a two-year service obligation at a qualifying workplace in the state. Awards to successful applicants are expected to be $35,000 for counselors, psychologists and social workers, and $100,000 for child psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners, depending on educational loans on file and availability of funds.
STLR applicants must have a graduation date between September 1, 2022 and August 31, 2023, must be eligible to practice in West Virginia prior to commencing service obligations, and must agree to STLR Guide.
This first round STLR is open to counselors and therapists and has received over 100 applications.This second round It was expanded to include child psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners, and more than 100 applications were received.
For STLR eligibility guidelines and application information, visit https://dhhr.wv.gov/BBH/data/STLR or contact the program coordinator Steven.A.Little@wv.gov. Application deadline is January