In 2016, the School for Behavioral and Health Sciences and the Department of Social Work was configured within the newly created College of Education and Health Professions. This change reflected the growing attention to “Behavioral Health” (SAMHSA, 2016) and the projected demand for expanded behavioral health (formerly “mental health”) professionals trained to intervene efficiently and effectively in issues such as mental illness, substance use, homelessness, domestic violence, post-traumatic stress disorder (especially in work with active and returning service members), and a wide range of other challenges to the goal of wellness and social well-being for all people.
In February, 2016, the Master of Social Work (MSW) program earned full initial unconditional accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The MSW curriculum at Park University has been identified by the CSWE as one of the few programs in the country with an advanced social work practice concentration in Behavioral Health. Other disciplines, such as Nursing, Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice will also be impacted by changes in policy and practice that are being fueled by goals, funding, and research/grant opportunities being made available through the Center for Mental Health Services and SAMHSA. The CRTIBH will serve Park students, human service and behavioral health programs in the greater Kansas City region and beyond. The Center will also serve to attract high quality faculty, students and community training partners to Park University.