West Virginia's new financial initiative to aid behavioral health workforce

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is now accepting third-round applications for the Statewide Therapist Loan Repayment Project to help behavioral health workers financially, MyBuckhannon reported Jan. 18. 

The project will mainly focus on recent master's-level graduates in social work, counseling or psychology as well as psychiatric nurse practitioners and child psychiatrists.

Those eligible will apply for partial loan repayment in exchange for two years of work within the state. 

Counselors, psychologists and social worker awardees will receive $35,000, and child psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioner awardees will receive $100,000, depending on educational loans and availability of funds. 

Applicants must have graduation dates between Sept. 1, 2022 and Aug. 31, 2023, be qualified to practice in West Virginia prior to beginning their service obligation, and agree to the terms and conditions of the initiative's guidelines.

The first and second rounds of STLR received over 100 applications respectively.

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