Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals
The 84th Texas Legislature authorized the Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals to encourage certain mental health professionals to provide services in designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas (MHPSAs). A total of $2.125 million was appropriated for the program for the FY 2016-2017 biennium. This amount is sufficient to allow for financial commitments to approximately 100 providers for two years of loan repayment.
Eligible Practice Specialties
As defined in applicable sections of the Texas Occupations Code, the following mental health professionals may apply for enrollment in the program:
- Advanced practice nurses who are board certified in psychiatric or mental health nursing
- Licensed professional counselors
- Licensed clinical social workers
NOTE: Licenses for interns are not considered unrestricted.
All providers, with the exception of those serving in the secure correctional facilities noted below, must serve persons enrolled in Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or both. To meet the employment hours requirements for awards based on full-time service or prorated awards, no more than 25 percent of a provider's total employment hours per week may include hours providing mental health services via telemedicine. Both the provider's practice site and the site where the client is receiving telemedicine services must be located in MHPSAs.
Applicants must agree to provide five consecutive years of service in an eligible area, with the understanding that they will be released from the agreement if funding for continued loan repayment is not appropriated.
Application and Selection Process
The application period for FY 2017 funds is now closed.
For information on the priorities for ranking applications, please view Adopted Rules.
We estimate that the review and ranking process will require a minimum of three months after the application deadline. We will be unable to provide information on the standing of individual applications until the ranking process has occurred. We recommend that you refer to this web page for updates on the anticipated timetable for sending notifications to all applicants, in addition to any other program updates.
Loan Repayment Award Amounts
The following maximum aggregate award amounts are applicable over a period of five years if funds are available:
- $160,000 for psychiatrists
- $80,000 for psychologists and licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors who hold doctoral degrees
- $60,000 for advanced practice nurses
- $40,000 for licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors who do not hold doctoral degrees
The following percentages apply to each aggregate award amount for each year of service:
- 10% in year one
- 15% in year two
- 20% in year three
- 25% in year four
- 30% in year five
Therefore, maximum award amounts for the first year of service will be as follows:
- $16,000 for psychiatrists
- $8,000 for psychologists and licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors who hold doctoral degrees
- $6,000 for advanced practice nurses
- $4,000 for licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors
Interested mental health professionals may determine if a particular practice site is currently designated as a Mental HPSA by entering the address using the following federal search tool: Health Resources and Services Administration Shortage Areas.
For more information on the Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals, please contact us.