ACU receives funds to improve Texas mental health

ACU receives funds to improve Texas mental health

In the increasingly diverse state of Texas, there is a shortage of well-trained, bilingual mental health professionals. Abilene Christian University, through a partnership with the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, will be working to fix that. {{more}} The Hogg Foundation Bilingual Scholarship Initiative will provide funding for accredited Master of Social Work programs in Texas, including ACU’s, in order to increase the state’s Spanish-speaking mental health workforce. “The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health recognized a critical shortage of bilingual mental health clinicians in Texas. They turned to schools of social work in Texas to help fill this need based on their awareness that social workers provide the majority of mental health services in Texas and nationally,” said Dr. Paul Ammons, director of the ACU School of Social Work. “ACU is one of ten programs to receive funding to train Spanish-speaking clinical social workers and the only school in West Texas to receive funding.”Graduate social work students who prepare for and commit to service in a Texas mental health setting after graduation are eligible for a scholarship. ACU will receive $22,000 beginning in the fall 2008 semester.”This funding will provide us with the means to train up to two students per year to work with Latino clients in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways,” said Ammons. “One of our goals of the School of Social Work is to recruit academically talented low income Latino students with an interest in working the oppressed and vulnerable populations. The Hogg Foundation funds will enable us to attract students who might not be able to afford to attend ACU and to meet the needs of the Latino community.”The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health was founded in 1940 by Miss Ima Hogg, whose mission was to improve the mental health of all Texans. The foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin.For more information about ACU’s participation in this grant program, contact Ammons at 325-674-2447 or email him at pwa05a@acu.edu.