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In the second year of the Scholars Program, we used feedback from the first group to modify and improve the program. In 2018, we accepted six BHI Scholars. Due to tremendous interest, we increased access to the traineeship content by adding a group of seven BHI “Associates”. Associates participate in didactic sessions with fewer commitments to underserved clinical sites.

We added a Mental Health First Aid course as a requirement for the scholars and encouraged associates to also participate. Mental Health First Aid is a great program that provides basic information on assisting individuals who may be experiencing behavioral health issues or associated crises. Participants receive Mental Health First Aid Certification upon completion of the 8-hour training. Students also participated in weekly seminars on screening and brief intervention for anxiety, depression, substance use, and alcohol use.

Students had opportunities to apply BHI concepts by gaining clinical experience at Goshen Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center in rural Southeastern North Carolina.

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