$480K awarded to UTRGV for mental, behavioral health training

In this Aug. 19, 2020 file photo, Vicente Gonzalez speaks about the changes to the U.S. Postal Service during a press conference in front to the U.S Post Office in McAllen. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $480,000 in federal funding to UTRGV’s Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Programs.

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, announced the award in a news release Wednesday.

The funding will be allocated to the interdisciplinary Integrated Primary and Behavioral Healthcare initiative, which aims to train the next generation of mental health graduates at the university.

Dr. John Ronnau, professor and senior associate dean for community health partnerships at UTRGV School of Medicine, said the purpose of this grant is to increase the supply of behavioral health professionals while also improving the distribution of a quality behavioral health workforce.

Given the Rio Grande Valley’s history of being a medically underserved region, UTRGV’s program prides itself on delivering high-quality Integrated Behavioral Health clinical services by promoting a culture of well-being for its communities.

“It is vital our community has access to quality, state-of-the-art healthcare services,” Gonzalez said. “Better trained healthcare professionals will be able to better serve our community.”