Grant will fund innovative associate degree program in partnership with BestSelf Behavioral Health
Thursday, November 10, 2022 - The Peter & Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation has awarded Hilbert College a $100,000 capacity building grant, to support the first year of a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASAC) partnership project between Hilbert College and BestSelf Behavioral Health. The funding will be used to support educational, technological, and programming needs during this unique initiative's first year within the Hilbert College Global online division.
“Hilbert College is thrilled to be able to establish this partnership with BestSelf, and grateful for the outstanding investment from the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation to support this important partnership,” Hilbert President Dr. Michael Brophy said. “Our tremendous and talented faculty in the human services department are excited to be collaborating with the dedicated personnel at BestSelf, the foremost behavioral health organization in WNY.”
BestSelf is Western New York's largest provider of innovative, accessible, and culturally responsive care for children, young adults, adults, and families. The organization's multiple locations focus on mental health and substance use disorder treatment with a wide array of programs and services to meet the community's needs.
“The rapid growth of individuals seeking treatment for mental health and substance use disorders has created an even greater need for unique partnerships and strategies to train next generation experts to work with clients in this population,” stated Elizabeth Woike-Ganga, President & CEO, BestSelf Behavioral Health.
Due to workforce shortages and BestSelf's commitment to providing professional development and advancement opportunities to their staff, particularly those from historically underserved communities, this partnership is of mutual benefit to BestSelf, Hilbert and the community.
The goal of the Hilbert/BestSelf CASAC partnership is to provide BestSelf team members with the training and skills they need to improve their service performance, serve more individuals in need, and ultimately strengthen the organization.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling services.” More information on Hilbert’s alcohol and substance abuse counseling program is available here.