​ASU Receives $5.9 Million Federal Dollars to Train Mental Health Professionals

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pettis photo

By Hazel Scott/ASU

Alabama State University’s Mental Health Professional​s​ Program (MHSP) has just received federal dollars to train mental health professionals to address the growing national shortfall.

ASU was awarded a five-year $5.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  

The announcement comes on the heels of a new CDC report that finds suicide deaths are on the rise among high school students and more people have thought about taking their lives.

“The ASU MHSP program’s goal is to increase the number and diversity of high-quality, trained providers available to address the shortages of mental health service professionals in Montgomery Public Schools,” said Dr. Carl Pettis, principal investigator.

ASU’s MHSP program, Pettis noted, will work to fill the needs around mental health professional to student ratio, community mental health needs as it relates to school and community violence, and support with chronic absenteeism, academic deficits, and other risk factors.

Student Support

Pettis said the project will support 15 graduate students each year from two ASU degree programs: School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health.

“Each student will complete their required 700 hours of fieldwork in Montgomery Public Schools,” Pettis added.

The grant will provide graduate student interns stipends, childcare allowances, tuition support and books and supplies. The students also will attend national conferences alongside their professors.

“Through the efforts of this project, we look forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of educators, students, and community members alike,” Pettis said.

ASU-MHSP Director Angeline Woods echos Pettis.

“The ASU-MHSP grant will build an ASU/Montgomery Public Schools pipeline of counselors. That means we will be able to support students when they need us most,” Woods added..