New Program to Meet Need for Substance Use Treatment

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Community Health Network is launching a program that will prepare more licensed clinical social workers to provide treatment in central Indiana in an effort to supplement the shortage of trained behavioral health professionals. Organizers say the program provides a model that can be replicated in communities across the state to make sure substance use disorders receive proper treatment.

The Community Behavioral Health Academy consists of a partnership between Community Behavioral Health at Community Health Network, the Indiana University School of Social Work-IUPUI Campus, the University of Indianapolis and Ascend Indiana.

To create more behavioral health professionals, while also enhancing the quality of treatment for those experiencing SUD, the academy prepares students for dual licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor.

Funded by a grant from the Indianapolis-based Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, the academy expects to produce 15 to 30 dually licensed clinical social workers annually who will treat thousands of additional people in Indiana each year.

In an interview that will be featured in this month’s Life Sciences INdiana e-newsletter, Jason Kloth says when you understand everything it takes to become traditionally qualified this job, the reason for the shortage becomes pretty clear.

"To become a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Indiana requires that you earn a bachelor's degree and then get a master's degree in social work, have a 2,000-hour practicum and then pass multiple licensure exams, apply for a license, and then you will take a job where you are making $50,000 to $60,000 on an annual basis and you will be treating people that are often times in some of the most challenging circumstances that a person can face," said Kloth. "So, I don't think we should be surprised that we don't have a sufficient supply of licensed clinical social workers to treat the increase in demand in the people that are facing these challenges."

Inside INdiana Business Special Projects Reporter Kylie Veleta will have more on this story, including more insight from Jason Kloth, in the Life Sciences INdiana e-newsletter. You can subscribe for free by clicking here.

Kloth says when you understand what is going on, the reason that the labor market is why supply is not meeting demand becomes pretty clear.
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