Nearly $1M grant expands pro bono mental health services to underserved populations in Richmond

Liz Sadock (right), a clinical psychology doctoral student, speaks with nurse practitioner Mary Simmons at Health Brigade, formerly the Fan Free Clinic.

Liz Sadock (right), a clinical psychology doctoral student, speaks with nurse practitioner Mary Simmons at Health Brigade, formerly the Fan Free Clinic.

Virginia Commonwealth University professor has received a nearly $1 million grant to expand a program that provides training to doctoral students studying clinical and counseling psychology and embeds them in Richmond-area primary care clinics to provide pro bono mental and behavioral health services to underserved populations.

The three-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will expand the VCU Primary Care Psychology Training Network to more than double its capacity and provide more than 15,000 sessions of pro bono services during the next three years.

The program currently trains VCU doctoral students in integrated behavioral health care and embeds them at Health Brigade, formerly named the Fan Free Clinic; the VCU Medical Center Internal Medicine Resident Clinic; the Virginia Coordinated Care Complex Care Clinic; and the Daily Planet.

As part of the new grant, the program will expand to the safety net pediatric clinic at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, the Hayes E. Willis Family Medicine Clinic at VCU and the Southside Community Health Center of the Daily Planet, which serves Latino adults.

This grant, along with the pilot projects funded by the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and the Virginia Health Care Foundation, will allow the project to place trainees and faculty supervisors in VCU’s doctoral program in the clinics in Richmond that provide safety net health services to children and Latino families.

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