APA secured substantial increases in funding for several critical psychology workforce training programs in the House of Representatives Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill. The House approved the bill on July 31 and it now heads to the Senate where key appropriators have indicated they will likely wait until after the election to take up any funding bills. Several of these increases to psychology workforce training programs come as a follow-up to APA’s Practice Leadership Conference advocacy efforts in March, where psychologists and trainees from across the country met with congressional staff to emphasize the importance of increasing funding to these essential programs.
- The bill allocates $20 million to the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program, an increase of $2 million above the FY20 enacted level. GPE is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide training and stipend support for doctoral-level health service psychologists. GPE provides grants to accredited psychology doctoral, internship, and postdoctoral training programs to support trainees who provide mental and behavioral health services to underserved populations.
- The Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), also saw a $2 million increase from $14.2 million in FY20 to $16.2 million in the FY21 House funding bill. The MFP is a longtime priority for APA to diversify the psychology workforce. It provides funding for training, career development, and mentoring for mental and behavioral health professionals working with ethnic minorities. APA advocacy staff recently conducted a virtual advocacy training for MFP fellows who attended MFP’s Psychology Summer Institute. While the Senate negotiates its funding bills, the fellows will be advocating for increased funding for the program to Senate offices.
- HRSA’s Mental and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program was allocated $41.7 million, $15 million above the FY20 enacted level, with specific congressional language to provide training grants to health service psychologists among other professions. This program aims to increase funds to institutions to support training for substance use disorder treatment in underserved communities.
- Finally, the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program (BHWET) received $51 million in the FY21 bill. BHWET is HRSA’s largest behavioral workforce training program and it aims to increase the number of mental health professionals providing services in underserved areas.