Edinboro University awarded nearly $200,000 to train addiction counselors


 Edinboro University awarded nearly $200,000 to train addiction counselors

This month, Edinboro University’s School of Graduate Studies was awarded nearly $200,000 to provide high-quality counselor education training for Edinboro students focusing on treating addiction.

Edinboro’s Counseling Program received a $197,668 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for continuing education efforts as part of the master’s degree program in counseling.

These efforts will increase the number of professionals prepared to deliver substance use disorder (SUD) services to reduce both the human and financial costs associated with SUD.

“This grant is an exciting opportunity for Edinboro University’s counseling program to train professionals interested in treating individuals and families affected by substance use disorder,” said Dr. Susan Packard, professor in Edinboro’s Counseling, School Psychology and Special Education Department. “Job opportunities for substance abuse counselors are abundant. Edinboro University's counseling program is proud in its mission to help prepare the next generation of counselors.”

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the job outlook for substance abuse, behavioral disorders and mental health counselors between 2019-2029 is 25% (much faster than average), and the 2019 median pay for was $46,240 per year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020).

The prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic is the worst public health crisis in the Commonwealth, affecting Pennsylvanians from big cities to rural communities, according to research from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Between January 2018 and October 2019, emergency medical services administered 27,219 doses of naloxone in Pennsylvania alone. Additionally, alcohol and substance abuse is a growing epidemic.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that, as the need for professionals who can provide high quality SUD services increases, the number of highly trained addiction counselors has decreased.

This grant award for Edinboro aims to assist faculty in preparing Edinboro graduate students to fill this void in the workforce.

Currently, Edinboro’s Counseling Program includes four programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) – College Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling.

Edinboro’s Art Therapy concentration is nationally accredited by Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE).

“The Counseling program faculty agree that expanding the current course offerings and training related to addiction is aligned with responding to the substance abuse treatment needs in this region and continuous program development,” said assistant counseling professor Dr. Julaine Field.

In September 2019, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf declared a seventh Opioid Disaster Declaration. State health and human service organizations are grappling with how to train and retain enough SUD service providers to meet the current demand.

Integrating addiction coursework that aligns with state alcohol and drug certification expedites graduate student educational preparation for work in addiction counseling.

To view the entire inventory of award-winning counseling and education graduate programs at Edinboro University, visit https://gradschool.edinboro.edu.