The 1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund and the 1199SEIU Greater New York Education Fund have partnered with Alfred University to offer a two-year training program that prepares 1199SEIU members for careers in behavioral health services. Participants will learn to work in an integrated healthcare delivery system and provide patient-centered care services, such as multicultural counseling, group counseling, techniques of family therapy, consultation and prevention, and mental health assessments. Thirty-two members are currently enrolled in the program, and will earn a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Mental Health Counseling.

We are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the healthcare curve and support members in accessing new career pathways. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “behavioral health” is a focus on emotional health and prevention, along with the treatment of mental illness and substance abuse disorders. The demand for behavioral health providers and workers is growing, as one in five adults in the U.S. reports having at least one mental health issue, according to a recent study by Mental Health America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness in the U.S. Researchers found that those diagnosed with depression or a mental health disorder—about 9 percent of adolescents and 56 percent of adults—do not receive treatment.

For more details about this program, please contact Lewis Payton at (212) 284-9213 or

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