Digital mental health provider Mantra Health launched  the Mantra College Mental Health Provider Diversity Scholarship for the 2021 academic year. The $3,000 scholarship will serve Black, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Asian, and Pacific Islander graduate and postdoctoral students pursuing a degree related to mental health and completing work in a university or college counseling center.

People of color in America have historically experienced a higher rate of mental and emotional health issues, and the pandemic has only exacerbated that. When seeking mental health treatment finding matches between a psychiatrist and a patient can be challenging given the lack of diversity in the mental health industry. A Johns Hopkins study found that only 10.4% of practicing psychiatrists are Black, Latinx, or Native American, compared with 32.6% of the U.S. population. This imbalance of culturally competent representation in mental health care will potentially rise to an emergency issue by the time the U.S. becomes “minority white” by 2045.

“Mantra’s diversity scholarship is one step closer to ending the racial inequities that are fraught in the mental health field,” said Dr. Kristel Carrington, Medical Director, Mantra Health. “Our hope is that as more students of marginalized identities enter mental health as a profession and the pool of providers becomes more diverse, we’ll see a reduction in these disparities.”

Most colleges and universities themselves struggle to recruit and retain mental health providers that represent enough diversity in their backgrounds and expertise to meet the specific needs of their students. Mantra Health helps to combat this issue by partnering with college and university counseling centers, using its flexible telehealth platform, to extend evidence-based teletherapy and psychiatric services from on-campus centers to a diverse group of off-campus providers located anywhere.

“Mantra believes everyone deserves quality mental health care and to be able to identify with the professionals they seek help from,” said Ed Gaussen, CEO and co-founder, Mantra Health. “If Mantra’s diversity scholarship can inspire even one person to pursue a mental health profession, we can only imagine the impact that individual will have on their patients over the course of their career.”

To apply for the Mantra College Mental Health Provider Diversity Scholarship, students can submit an application here.

All graduate and postdoctoral students of color in the U.S. who are actively pursuing a degree related to mental health, including social work, counseling, psychiatry, occupational therapy and are currently completing (or will complete) fieldwork/practicum/rotation in a university or college counseling center are eligible.

Applications will be accepted until June 15, 2021. The winner will be announced on June 30, 2021.

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