School Awarded $919K SAMHSA Grant to Develop SBIRT Training

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a grant in the amount of $919,000 to Dr. Douglas C. Smith, Associate Professor, School of Social Work at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Liliane Windsor, Assistant Professor, will serve as the co-director for the project.

The first year of the three year grant provides $305,777 develop a comprehensive SBIRT training for Masters of Social Work (MSW) and Bachelor of Social Work students. SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment. It is an approach to screening and early intervention for substance use disorders and people at risk for developing substance use disorders. SBIRT emphasizes combined effort of screening and treatment services , and is part of a broader national effort to move substance use disorder treatment into mainstream healthcare. SBIRT services address a major problem in that many individuals who could benefit from reducing their alcohol or other substance use never receive professional treatments services.

Additionally the project will also offer Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits for up to 100 practicing clinicians. Finally, the project will complete an evaluation of two different teaching methods. Students and professionals will receive state of the art didactic, hands-on, and computer simulation training to develop clinical intervention skills. The program will reach 230 students (77 annually) and professionals in the first three years of the program. The goal of this project is to create an effective and sustainable SBIRT training program that will dovetail into the educational curriculum at the School of Social Work. In addition to the modification of two existing courses, two new courses will be developed on both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Smith notes, “This is an exciting opportunity that will expand access to trained professionals and will provide students with hands-on training in a specific evidence-based intervention, helping to bridge the research to practice divide.”

Additional details will be announced in the coming months.

Read the University of Illinois News Bureau release