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Announcing RCC's Partnership with William James College

Roxbury Community College Named Educational Partner in Boston Children’s Funded Behavioral Health Workforce Development Program at William James College

The William James College Child & Adolescent Mental Health Initiative (CAMHI) will expand and diversify the behavioral health workforce serving children, adolescents and families

Roxbury Community College has been named an educational partner in the new William James College Child & Adolescent Mental Health Initiative (CAMHI), an innovative program designed to expand and diversify the behavioral health workforce. Newton-based William James College, a leader in the education of behavioral health professionals, launched the program in April through the support of a generous grant from Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health. In addition to engaging educational and employer partners, CAMHI will create behavioral health career pathways and provide stipends and scholarships to individuals interested in pursuing behavioral health careers working with children, adolescents and families.

“This initiative is designed to strengthen partnerships among academic and community-based agencies with a shared vision of reducing mental health disparities in underserved communities,” said Gemima St. Louis, PhD, co-director of CAMHI, co-director of the William James College Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health and associate professor of Clinical Psychology. “Meeting the mental health needs of children and families is a systemic issue that cannot be addressed by one individual or one institution alone. The sustainable impact that this grant can have is amplified through collaborations among organizations that are devoted to promoting the well-being of children and families across the Commonwealth.”

“We are thrilled to partner with William James College and offer RCC students a new pathway to a fulfilling career in behavioral health,” said Dr. Valerie Roberson, president of Roxbury Community College. “So many members of the Greater Boston community are impacted by mental health issues, and few are willing to speak openly about their pain and to seek treatment. Our partnership with William James College was established to result in greater diversity amongst mental health professionals, providing our community members an increased level of comfort when accessing the services and support needed for care.”

CAMHI will provide scholarship support to 40 students from historically marginalized, low-income, first-generation or underrepresented racial and ethnic minority backgrounds to complete their Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology and Human Services at William James College. The William James College Bachelor’s Completion Program, which is a work-friendly program delivered online with one on-campus Saturday session per month, welcomes applications from students who have completed an associate’s degree or the equivalent of 60 undergraduate credits.

“We combine academic support and ongoing mentoring with employer input to ensure students are successful in earning their bachelor’s degrees,” said Marc Abelard, MEd, director of the bachelor’s completion program and co-director of CAMHI. “Through CAMHI, we have an opportunity to impact generations of students from underrepresented areas by training them to be tomorrow’s leaders in the behavioral health field. This grant will help ensure these students can earn their bachelor’s degrees with minimal debt and enter the workforce on a level playing field with their peers.”

The three-year grant to William James College is part of Boston Children’s Hospital’s distribution of $5 million to 16 funded partners through its Collaboration for Community Health. Boston Children’s Hospital has committed $53.4 million to support community organizations and public agencies to improve the health and well-being of children and families in Greater Boston.

“Boston Children’s has a long-standing commitment to its community mission,” said Kevin Churchwell, MD, president and chief operating officer of Boston Children’s Hospital. “Now through the Collaboration for Community Health, we’ve reached a critical moment to further this mission. This investment will allow us to support community organizations to implement approaches that address critical health issues and the social, behavioral and environmental factors that affect a child’s health.”

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Jordan Smock
Director of Marketing & Communications, Roxbury Community College

Anne Wilson Yu
Director of Communications, William James College

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