This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Rural Behavioral Health Workforce Centers – Northern Border Region (“RBHWCs”). The RBHWCs are a part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, a multi-year HRSA initiative with the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality resulting from substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), in high risk rural communities.
The RBHWCs will advance RCORP’s overall goal by improving behavioral health care services in rural areas through educating and training health professionals and community members to care for individuals with behavioral health disorders, including SUD.
This program supports HRSA’s collaboration with the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) to provide career and workforce training activities within the four-state NBRC region, in order to assist individuals with behavioral health needs, particularly SUD.
To this end, the RBHWCs will utilize a multi-sectoral, collaborative approach to enhance behavioral health care delivery within eligible rural NBRC counties and census tracts (see Appendix A) by developing and implementing training and mentorship programs focused on building the skills and capacity of rural health care providers, paraprofessionals, non-clinical staff, and community members to care for individuals with behavioral health care needs.
In support of this goal, the RBHWCs will work towards achieving the following five objectives:
Objective 1: Form and sustain a multi-sectoral strategic network of key behavioral health and community services partners from across the target rural service area, to support the development and implementation of training and mentorship programs as well as recruitment of participants.
Objective 2: Assess resources, needs, and opportunities in the target rural service area as they relate to the program goal to inform future activities of the program, including an initial assessment in year one and ongoing updates in years two through three.
Objective 3: In collaboration with the strategic network, develop and implement training and mentorship programs that address identified gaps in the skills and capacity of rural health care providers, paraprofessionals, non-clinical staff, and community members to care for individuals with behavioral health needs.
Objective 4: In collaboration with the strategic network, develop and implement training and mentorship programs that address health equity and stigma as it relates to behavioral health.
Objective 5: Ensure that trainings and mentorship programs are available, accessible, and well-known throughout the entire target rural service area.
Eligible applicants include all domestic public or private, non-profit or for-profit entities.
Eligible entities must be physically located in New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine, and must have demonstrated experience serving eligible rural counties and rural census tracts in the NBRC service region, as listed in Appendix A. Eligible entities must be located within the state for which they are applying. For example, an applicant organization applying to serve New York must be physically located within New York. Applicants may only apply to serve one of the four states listed above.
All planned activities supported by this program must exclusively target the HRSA-designated rural counties and rural census tracts within the NBRC service area, as listed in Appendix A. Within partially rural counties, only HRSA-designated rural census tracts are eligible to receive activities and services supported by this award, as shown in the table above. For your reference, a list of HRSA-designated rural census tracts is available here.
Applicants must include in their target rural service area all eligible rural NBRC counties and census tracts for the state in which they are applying, as listed in Appendix A. Note that services and resources supported by this funding must be available and easily accessible throughout the entire target rural service area. However, it is acceptable to more actively focus on communities with disproportionate levels of need within the target rural service area.