October 16, 2014

New Partnership Establishes Mental Health Training Resource Center

WALTHAM, MA | EDC, in collaboration with the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers, will establish a new Mental Health and HIV/AIDS Training Resource Center. With $4 million over five years from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the center will provide training and education to front-line mental health providers on a variety of mental health issues affecting those living with HIV/AIDS.

“This award allows us to advance preparation efforts for the mental health workforce to meet the many challenges faced by those living with HIV,” said EDC’s Lydia O’Donnell, senior vice president of the Health and Human Development Division. “With our partners, we will have the combined strength to work across mental health provider groups to better integrate and coordinate mental health care.”

The new center brings together the work of the HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project, the HOPE Program, and the AIDS Education Project and seeks to enhance access to training and education for social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other front-line mental health providers. The expertise of these programs along with EDC’s leadership in developing learning innovations and its more than 30 years of experience working with those living with and affected by HIV will make for a powerful new entity.

“APA is very pleased to work with EDC on this exciting and important project,” said David Martin, senior director of the Office on AIDS at the American Psychological Association. “APA’s extensive experience in providing continuing education and professional development for psychologists broadly, and specifically related to HIV/AIDS, pairs well with EDC’s comprehensive background in dissemination across multiple platforms.”

“The National Association of Social Workers is honored to be part of the collaboration with EDC,” said Robert Arnold, director of the NASW Foundation. “Working together will utilize our expertise and broad reach to help achieve the goal of providing quality mental health services to people across the country.”

Using opportunities such as national meetings and virtual learning environments, the new center will provide online and face-to-face training and technical assistance to mental health professionals working with individuals affected by HIV. The center’s activities, priorities, and quality of services will be overseen by a committee to include consumer advocates.

Saul Levin, CEO and medical director at the American Psychiatric Association, is pleased with the way the new center will operate. “The APA is delighted to partner with EDC on this new training initiative to ensure quality mental health services across the HIV/AIDS care continuum. We look forward to working with all of these organizations to expand our reach and increase our impact.”

EDC designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide. Visit www.edc.org.