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More than one-half of Americans with mental illness do not receive treatment, partly due to a severe shortage in the behavioral healthcare workforce. A local community college has teamed up with the area’s community services board to tackle this shortage with an innovative “earn while you learn” program.

Rappahannock Area Community Services Board and Germanna Community College have launched a new Behavioral Health Technician program to offer hands-on experience combined with education. This effort will run Nov. 1 through Feb. 12, 2023 and the deadline for applying to the program is Oct. 13.

The program is open to individuals ages 18 and above and will include virtual and in-person classes and paid internships through RACSB. The program is funded by the Claude Moore Foundation and is free for participants.

“The behavioral healthcare workforce shortage will continue to grow if we don’t step up and find solutions,” said Brandie Williams, RACSB Deputy Executive Director. “This program should increase interest in the behavioral healthcare field, plus help people get the training, education and experience they need to enter the field. We hope students will discover just how rewarding this work is.”

Interested students should apply online by Oct. 13.

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