Psychology department grant to fund mental health services

Sept. 1, 2014

Samantha Morley
[email protected]

The Department of Psychology was awarded a $325,000 education grant last month. The purpose of the funding is to increase training for integrated care, which aims to combine both mental and physical health care into one setting.

The money will fund five doctoral students as they learn how to provide mental health services to older patients. According to psychology professor Dan Segal, the students are getting didactic training, coursework training, clinical training and supervision from licensed integrated care professionals.

Students will also participate in a research project.

“It’s the only federal training money for psychology,” Segal said. “[Federal funding] is kind of hard to get so we’re really blessed to have gotten it.”

We need to think about wellness and health care differently,” Michael Kenny, director of the UCCS Aging Center, said. “One of the ways to do that is integrating medical model and a biopsychosocial model so you include behavioral health.”

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, Health Resources and Services Administration, funds a program oriented to train students to work with older adults. Integrating mental and physical health care into one location makes it easier for patients to get the treatment they need.

“What happens is that some people don’t follow up. They don’t get the services they need because it takes those added steps to do it,” Segal said.

With integrated care, psychologists become part of health care teams. “Integrated care is clearly a growing and important area for mental health care,” Segal said.

The students will be working at Rocky Mountain Program of All-nclusive Care for the Elderly, Peak Vista’s Lane Family Senior Health Center and the UCCS Aging Center’s Aging Families and Caregiver Program.

Segal will be the grant’s principal investigator and project director. Kenny will oversee the students and supervise their training. Laura Engleman, UCCS Aging Center project anager, and Sheri Gibson, integrated care consultant and postdoctoral fellow at the Aging Center, will also join.