Center City, Minn. (June 18, 2021) — The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies has launched a new Hope Scholarship for 2021, aimed at Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students pursuing a master's degree in substance use disorder and mental health counseling at the school.
The Hope Scholarship is available for the fall 2021 semester to degree-seeking BIPOC students. The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School will award $16,000 to five recipients.
The United States is in the midst of the most challenging addiction and mental health crisis in generations—greatly exacerbated by COVID-19 and related economic hardships. As more Americans struggle with depression, anxiety, substance use, trauma, grief and coping in general, the need for safe, quality behavioral healthcare and support resources is greater than ever, and growing.
At the same time, there are gaping racial disparities in access to the addiction care community that itself suffers from a dearth of diversity nationwide.
"Substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders do not discriminate across race, age, creed, gender or nationality, and it is vital to provide care that represents and reflects all of the people who need and may seek help," said Ahmed Eid, director of Hazelden Betty Ford's treatment center in Naples, Fla.; co-chair of its national Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee; and alumnus of the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School. "Preparing more students of color to be counselors will help treatment providers offer more culturally competent care to more people, and enable more patients to receive treatment and care from counselors who look like them—a factor that influences outcomes."
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Trustee Bill Parker and his wife Anne established the Hope Scholarship Fund and invite others to help build and grow the fund.
"We are deeply grateful to the Parkers for establishing the Hope Scholarship that will encourage more people to consider the addiction counseling field," said Valerie Slaymaker, PhD, chief academic officer and provost of the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. "It takes a special person to answer the call to counsel, and it is a big commitment to enter any graduate program. This scholarship removes some of the financial barriers so these future addiction and mental health counselors can focus on their studies and goals."
To apply for the Hope Scholarship, prospective students must complete an application; provide a resume; and submit an essay that addresses why they are applying, their commitment to and experience in the field of addiction counseling, and why they are deserving of the Hope Scholarship. All components should be emailed as a single PDF to GraduateSchool@hazeldenbettyford.edu.
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, as well as the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC), the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies upholds the highest standards of academic excellence and professional competence. Offering both on-campus and online program options, it is part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit system of addiction treatment, mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services.
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.