WET Stipend Program

WET Training Stipend Program

The Department of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) offers WET (Workforce, Education and Training) stipends for qualified Interns and Trainees. The WET stipends are funded through the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), and the objective of the stipends are to provide financial incentives for students to train in public mental health. The goal for the Department of Behavioral Health Services is to increase the number of staff who are trained to work in a recovery oriented mental health system and adequately respond to the service needs of the identified disparities in the current behavioral health system. The behavioral health workforce is in need of bilingual/bicultural and culturally specific (ethnicity, age, LGBTQ) staff to provide culturally competent services to its clients.

The requirement for all stipend recipients is to commit to one year of employment in the public behavioral health field in California after graduation. This includes both county behavioral health departments and agencies that receive county funds to provide behavioral health services. This excludes any services in correctional facilities. If a student demonstrates due diligence in searching for employment in a public behavioral health entity, and is unable to secure employment within the guidelines of the commitment, an appeal process is available.

The training stipends are financial incentives for students to join the public behavioral health workforce after graduation. All interns are encouraged to apply. If awarded, the money is paid out as earned income, and students receive a year-end W2 statement for this income. $8640.00 is the maximum amount available for each stipend, based on a total of 720 hours during the internship/traineeship.

Training Stipend Eligibility Criteria

Successful applicants for the training stipends must meet criteria #1, #2, #3 and at least one of the other listed criteria below:

  1. Must meet the Internship Eligibility Criteria. Please review those criteria.
  2. Commit to working in the California Public Mental Health System for one year after graduation (see description above)
  3. Be in “good academic standing” and maintain “good academic standing” at the college/university degree program enrolled.
  4. Applicants who are bi-lingual or bi-lingual and bi-cultural and whose cultural background and experience are from one of the threshold languages (Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Tagalog) or other identified emerging language of clients served by the public mental health system.
  5. Applicants who have experience with diverse backgrounds, but provide no language (foster care, youth, transition aged youth, older adults, developmentally challenged etc…).
  6. Applicants with at least 1-2 years of working or lived personal experience with populations that are considered underserved by our mental health system. Examples of these populations might include gay/lesbian/transgender clients, homeless or physically disabled clients with serious mental illness.
  7. Applicants’ current knowledge or study of unserved and underserved cultural and linguistic populations.

If you were previously awarded a training stipend for one full year, you are not eligible for another stipend. Additionally, a student who is receiving another type of stipend from a different funding source is not eligible to receive this WET stipend.

Application and Selection Process

  1. Submit completed internship application with required and requested documentation.

  2. Indicate on the application your request for Intern Training Stipend.

  3. Student Intern Program Coordinator will review, score, and rank applications.

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