State Budget and Introduced Legislation Aim to Expand and Strengthen Behavioral Healthcare Workforce

July 12, 2022

"Legislators looking to add more mental health professionals statewide have allocated a combined $9.62 million in the new state budget to expand training programs to meet the demand," as reported in NJ Spotlight News (July 11, 2022).

Of this funding, $4 million will be allocated for the Psychiatry Residency Expansion Program. Training programs need to apply to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for this funding and are required to use it solely for adding four-year residency training positions to existing psychiatry resident-training slots.

The remaining $5.62 million will support Mental Health Professional Capacity Expansion Initiatives as part of a grant to DHS. Of this funding, $4 million will be allocated for the addition of 10 medical residency positions; $800,000 is earmarked for four new adolescent and child psychiatry fellowship positions; and $100,000 will be used to promote new residency positions in the state, with a focus on outreach to students in populations that are underrepresented in the medical field.

In addition, a bill (A2890) that was introduced in February would create a loan redemption program for licensed mental health counselors in New Jersey. The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman William F. Moen, Jr. (D-Camden), was referred to the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

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