UMass nursing grant addresses substance abuse, mental health

AMHERST, MA (WHDH) - The University of Massachusetts-Amherst nursing school has received a nearly $900,000 federal grant to help student nurses recognize and help patients suffering from substance abuse and mental illness.

The program is called SBIRT, which stands for screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment.

It’s an approach for delivering early intervention and treatment to people with or at-risk of developing alcohol or other substance abuse disorders. It will be integrated this fall into existing psychiatric, pediatric and community nursing courses that incorporate alcohol and substance abuse disorders.

The College of Nursing’s Donna Zucker says the program has great potential to improve patient outcomes.

The project is one of only 12 similar programs in the nation funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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