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Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Post-Graduate Fellowship Opportunity Opening Soon!

What does it take to be a social worker? With over 25 years of experience in clinical social work, School-Based Mental Health Fellowship Director Marisa Parrella, LICSW, LCSW-C, of Mary’s Center believes five core values are at the root of keeping social workers passionate about community-based work: a focus on health equity, self-care and resilience, policy change, stakeholder engagement, and risk-taking.

She has been working to operationalize these core values in Mary’s Center School Based Mental Health (SBMH) Fellowship, a new post-graduate training program created to provide exceptional training for mental health professionals to meet the complex mental health and wellness needs of children and families in a school setting. The fellowship focuses on centering health equity and implementing interventions that address disparities disproportionately experienced by BIPOC families and students.

In its inaugural year, Mary’s Center SBMH Fellowship will accept up to six clinicians for a two-year school-based clinical experience that includes clinical school placements; seminar instruction by Mary’s Center and local University experts and partners; and professional supports such as intensive clinical supervision and professional mentorship to promote clinician wellness and sustainability. Applications will open in mid-February and recruitment is focused on BIPOC clinicians, particularly bilingual clinicians who reflect the communities Mary’s Center serves.

The SBMH Fellowship builds upon Mary’s Center existing practices which integrates a public health model of school mental health with their social change model of maximizing access to integrated care. This approach has proven to increase economic mobility as the organization tackles providing equitable care for communities that have historically been under-serviced and have had poorer health outcomes. The fellowship also seeks to address the dramatic departure of healthcare workers, especially in the school mental health setting. Parrella shared “It is time to reimagine how we prepare clinicians to deliver care and provide sustainable environments for them to do so successfully.”

Now in its fourth decade of service and under a new CEO, Mary’s Center is dedicating itself to providing more care to more communities through its successful social change model; and the SBMH Fellowship is just one example of that. This expansion of care as well as the increased demand for culturally competent mental health care for our children and families means the organization needs dedicated clinicians to carry out the vision. Parrella encourages upcoming post-graduate students to apply when the application opens in mid-February.

To learn more about the integrated Social Change Model approach at Mary’s Center and how it can improve overall health and wellness, watch this explanatory video by founder and former President/CEO Maria Gomez.


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