Advanced Practice Education: Collaborative Mental Health Care

HRSA Grant Number D09HP22640

Project Period: July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2014

Project Director: Elaine Walsh, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC

The 2003 report of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health underscored that older adults, minority, low income, and rural populations are underserved with regard to mental illness, that persons with co-occurring mental health and substance use problems are inadequately treated, and that the gap and non-coordination between mental and physical care contributes to stigma and is a barrier to mental health care.

In this competing renewal, to enhance our PMHNP DNP program (transitioning from MN) and to reduce health barriers and disparities, we propose to refocus a continuing link and initiate a new link with two major collaborating provider partners. Each partner integrates mental health and primary care for low income populations with limited health care access, complex health problems, continuing psychosocial and environmental difficulties and, often, emotional dysregulation stemming from trauma histories. We have also identified smaller clinical liaison providers, chiefly free clinic Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics Clinic (VIMO) on the Olympic Peninsula, for short term rural/remote clinical experiences for urban students. All agencies are located in designated HPSA or MUA/P areas and are highly invested in working with us.

We will enhance our curricular emphasis on prevention and evidence-informed treatment of psychiatric disabilities in older adults, develop/teach content on mental health-primary care integration models, enhance content on emotional dysregulation, and develop clinical learning activities that incorporate a system focus , consonant with DNP capabilities.

We will continue to intensify student recruitment activities in areas near agency partners and especially in agricultural/migrant regions of our state. We will focus on enhancement of faculty capabilities with technologic and pedagogic skills to increase the effectiveness and flexibility of our program for the benefit of student access. We will promote health science careers among students in two high schools in agricultural/migrant areas in our state. The project will result in a workforce of more diverse, better skilled, flexible PMHNPs who are more equitably distributed in our state’s underserved areas.

Formative evaluation will focus on how well we executed our plans.  Summative evaluation will address outcomes of our actions.

We will enroll a minimum of 12 DNP students in each year of the grant, seeking to recruit increasing numbers of diverse students from economically disadvantaged areas.

Graduates of our PMHNP-MN/DNP program are qualified to take the ANCC Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Exam.

For more information about Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Grants visit the HRSA Website.