IU Fort Wayne social work students gain experience through Behavorial Health Academy

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Indiana University Fort Wayne School of Social Work has partnered with Community Health Network in Indianapolis and Parkview Behavioral Health Institute in Fort Wayne to expand Community Health Network's Behavioral Health Academy™. The Behavioral Health Academy™ prepares students for practice with mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders and to become dually licensed as both a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC) in Indiana.

This is the first year of the Behavioral Health Academy™ for IU Fort Wayne School of Social Work students. This annual program is composed of 580 hours of social service work in the community and does not extend a student's time in the degree program. This year the program enrolled seven students; however, the enrollment numbers can increase or decrease in the coming years.

"Through the Behavioral Health Academy, our students are receiving rich, educationally driven interprofessional supervision, outstanding guidance from master's prepared social workers, and exceptional experiences serving some of our most vulnerable community members who struggle with mental health and substance use disorders," said Jan Ness, Indiana University Fort Wayne School of Social Work campus director and MSW Program coordinator. "Students are receiving outstanding preparation to become tomorrow's licensed clinical social workers and clinical addictions counselors."

The Behavioral Health Academy™ for IU Fort Wayne students began in August and will end in May following the end of the 2021-2022 academic school year. Having participated in the program for five months, students will have learned and implemented several evidence-based practice (EBP) interventions and met students from other MSW programs, allowing them to expand their professional network and learn from fellow students.

"The Behavioral Health Academy teaches professionalism, self-care, and mindfulness in addition to the learning and practice of EBPs," said Sherrie Onuegbu, IU Fort Wayne MSW student. "The BHA provides a well-rounded education. I hope future students consider looking into the Behavioral Health Academy to expand their knowledge, learn and implement interventions, and gain confidence in their practice."

For more information, visit the IU Fort Wayne School of Social Work online.