Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Press Release

DHS Accepting Applications for Projects to Improve Cultural Competence of Behavioral Health Workforce

Grants to be awarded for equity and inclusion efforts

By - Sep 30th, 2022 10:31 am

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is accepting applications for grants to fund behavioral health workforce training. The training must build provider capacity to deliver mental health and substance use services that respect and respond to the beliefs, practices, and needs of diverse communities.

“This grant program seeks to ensure that when it comes to mental health and substance use disorder services, being treated with dignity and respect, and receiving care that is high quality and accessible, are things all Wisconsinites have the right to expect and are not the privileges of a few,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Services that are culturally appropriate are more welcoming and effective. This grant program will help eliminate the disparities that exist in our mental health and substance use services system.”

Wisconsin-based organizations that work directly with populations who face barriers in accessing care may apply for one of 10 grants of up to $100,000. The funding must be used to train providers about how to tailor services to a person’s cultural preferences.

DHS memo outlines the terms and conditions of this grant opportunity, including the application process. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. November 7, 2022.

This is the second year of this grant program, which was created to respond to a need identified in a DHS-commissioned study about gaps in Wisconsin’s behavioral health care system(link is external). Completed by the UW Population Health Institute in 2020, the study found members of diverse communities faced barriers in accessing care because of a lack of providers familiar with how to work with clients from different cultures.

Nine organizations received funding last year to complete projects that promoted outreach and engagement strategies for members of the Burmese Rohingya, Hmong, LGBTQ+, Latino, and Muslim communities.

The grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

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