The overarching purpose of the Rural Psychology and Integrated Care (RPIC) training program is to increase the number of psychologists with skills and knowledge to provide competent services to under-served and vulnerable rural communities. An Integrated Health Care model is adopted, as it has been identified as an efficient strategy for delivering services to under-served areas, and even an ideal model (Gale & Deprez, 2003) for rural areas that have limited numbers of providers. In order to achieve this goal, RPIC has established a collaborative training model that includes PhD students in anAPA-accredited Counseling Psychology program, Master's students in Substance Abuse Counseling, and Master's students in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. Working together, each trainee will learn the skills necessary to become an effective member of an integrated and multi-disciplinary team. In addition to training students currently enrolled in mental health fields, RPIC provides regular rural mental and behavioral health workshops for practitioners, appropriate for Continuing Education requirements.
In order to graduate psychologists competent to work in rural communities, the psychology trainees will provide services appropriate for rural clients as part of their training. This leads to an associated goal of providing high-quality psychological services to residents of rural communities, specifically in eight counties in Northeastern North Dakota. RPIC trainees will complete their clinical practica training in several hospital and clinic settings, including one Federally Qualified Health Center, two Critical Access Hospitals, and two rural nursing homes, where they work with established primary care teams.
Prepare new psychologists, substance abuse counselors, and nurses to address rural mental and behavioral health needs as part of Integrated Health Care (IHC) teams.
Prepare new psychologists, substance abuse counselors, and nurses to work effectively as mental and behavioral health care providers in the context of rural culture.
Maximize the impact of RPIC in a rural service area by providing continuing education workshops to practicing professionals and other participants.
Develop and disseminate public education materials to decrease the stigma associated with mental health care in rural communities.
Demonstrate effectiveness of RPIC training through programmatic evaluation activities, including multiple raters and rating tools.
Increase awareness of rural mental and behavioral health concerns, as well as strategies for addressing these concerns, through disseminating project outcomes and related research.