Benefits of the Program

Through sustained grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to national behavioral health professional organizations, more than 1500 MFP fellows have received financial assistance and other supports that have enabled them to complete doctoral degrees, engage in post-doctoral behavioral health care research and study, secure career referrals and placement in clinical, academic, or program positions, serve community needs, and rise to positions of leadership and prominence within their fields.

Not only has the need for more minority representation among behavioral health service providers continued over the 40 year history of the MFP program, it is now becoming even more critical as the nation implements the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 ("Healthcare Reform") and the Mental Health Parity Act of 2008.  Between the two laws, millions of previously uninsured and non-served minority individuals and families, many of whom live in under-served urban and rural communities, will become eligible for mental health and substance abuse disorder assistance on a par with other health services.

Many new behavioral health professionals across all disciplines will be needed to meet this enormous service challenge, and a significant portion of new service providers will be called upon to offer "culturally competent" services. Current and former MFP fellows, now among faculties and educational leadership positions in major behavioral health training institutions, are well situated to respond quickly to the heightened work-force demands ahead.