SPARC

Supporting Pediatric Adjustment and Resilience through Counseling

The Supporting Pediatric Adjustment and Resilience through Counseling (SPARC) Program promotes a behavioral health workforce of professional counselors who specialize in child and adolescent mental behavioral health in the Coastal Bend.

Training Materials

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The SPARC Program provided financial support to masters-level counseling students who were completing their seminal field experiences with children, adolescents, transitional-age youth, and their families. Although funding was only available for masters-level students completing field experience internships, the program activities were designed to leverage SPARC Program resources and maximize use of evidence-supported counseling interventions and best-practices for behavioral health care.

Program goals included:

  1. Address the shortage of culturally diverse and qualified mental health counselors in the state of Texas who specialize in providing services to children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth at risk for developing or who have developed a behavioral health disorder.
  2. Provide evidence-supported and culturally relevant mental health counseling services in Texas to children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth
  3. Provide best practices in counseling services in Texas to at risk children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth at-risk for a behavioral health disorder following the funded period.

Program activities included:

  1. Implement a 6-session training series focusing integrated approaches to behavioral health care using evidence-supported treatments. Each training in the series included modules featuring:
    • Biological considerations of a specific behavioral health disorder or symptom constellation from a medical professional
    • Considerations for the interaction between nutrition, dietary influence, and symptom presentation
    • Details related to common assessment protocols and reporting from a psychological associate or licensed psychologist
    • Perspectives and possibilities when interacting with K-12 schools and institutions of higher education from a school counselor
    • Complementary and alternative therapies
    • Treatment planning
    • Implementing a culturally-responsive evidence-supported treatment
  2. Expanding network of behavioral health partnerships between TAMUCC and community partners that increases access to services for Hispanic/Latino individuals, families, and communities.

Values of the SPARC Program included:

  1. Culturally-responsive and individualized behavioral health treatment
  2. Integrated approaches to client care featuring collaboration among several health care professionals
  3. Holistic perspectives of development across the lifespan
  4. Experiential approaches to training and supervision among behavioral health professionals
  5. Community enrichment through promotion well-being of individuals, families, and groups

Funding for the SPARC Program is provided by the Health Resources and Service Administration’s Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) grant.