NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County is now accepting applications for a fellows program providing financial assistance to students enrolled at in-state colleges and universities seeking a career in the mental health field, aiming to create a pipeline of mental health and substance use disorder providers locally to serve those in need.
Allocated from the $50 million Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder fund, the fellows program is one of several ongoing efforts to build staffing capacity for psychiatric nurse practitioners and mental health care providers in the county to respond to the growing need and fill critical gaps in services. Fellows taking part in the psychiatric nurse practitioner program are eligible to receive up to $6,000 per semester for up to three years, while those taking part in the mental health provider fellows program are eligible for up to $3,500 per semester for two years.
“The need for culturally-knowledgeable, well-trained individuals capable of helping others navigate the difficulties associated with mental health and substance use disorders remains at an all-time high and New Hanover County is no stranger to this situation,” said Chief Diversity and Equity Officer Linda Thompson. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with colleges and universities throughout the state to help current students meet their educational goals, while also bringing highly-qualified individuals to our community who understand and are ready to address the diverse needs we face in this area.”
For the 2023-24 spring semester applicants, the portal is open now through November 27 and awardees will be notified in mid-December if they have been selected to receive funding from the fellows program. The program is renewable each semester with proof of satisfactory academic performance.
To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled and in good standing with a North Carolina accredited program at their respective educational institution.
Following completion of their education and becoming licensed, recipients will commit to providing service to underserved populations in New Hanover County in order to receive tuition-forgiveness. For psychiatric nurse practitioners, the minimum requirement for service is three years in the county, while mental health providers will be asked for two years of service in the county.
More details on the fellows program, including information on how to apply is available at Strategy.NHCgov.com.