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New Program Seeks to Fill Mental Health Gaps

The Lansing School of Nursing at Bellarmine University now offers a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program.

Dr. Chriss WebbDr. Chriss WebbThe master’s degree program is expected to help address a shortage in mental health providers with nurse practitioner training to provide psychiatric evaluations and treatment.

“By creating the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program, we can help close the gap of provider shortages and expand outreach and treatment to those who need it, improving health outcomes and the human condition,” said Dr. Chris Webb, chair of Graduate Nursing at Bellarmine and director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program.

More than 50 million Americans or about 20.8% of adults, in 2019-20, experienced a mental illness, according to the 2023 annual “State of Mental Health in America” report by nonprofit Mental Health America. But over half, or 54.7%, do not receive treatment.

The report notes that, among the factors contributing to the gap, individuals must contend with cost or lack of insurance coverage and the shortage of mental-health providers — an estimated 350 individuals for every one mental-health provider in the U.S.

The mostly online program prepares professional nurses to provide psychiatric disease management and advanced psychotherapy techniques in two years of part-time study, including two summers.

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