What is Jump Start? Jump Start is a 12 week, full time fellowship program for individuals interested in working in the mental health community. The fellowship provides both philosophical and skills based training for individuals looking to enter the mental health field who may not have previous experience. Jump Start combines classroom training as well as internship experience. Graduates from the program earn a certificate as a Mental Health Recovery Specialist.
Classroom days are Monday through Friday from 9 AM - 3 PM at MHALA Village for the first 2 weeks. During classtime, topics are presented that prepare participants with the knowledge to work in the mental health field successfully. Classes are taught by presenters and teachers from various agencies who have expertise in the subjects they teach. After the first 2 weeks, classroom days are Mondays and Fridays from 9 AM to - 3 PM at the MHALA Village.
Internship days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for an 8 hour day (hours vary depending on agency) beginning in week 3.
By the end of the Jump Start Fellowship Program participants will have completed 180 classroom hours and 240 internship hours. They also receive a certificate recognizing their completion of the 12 week program.
Participants are matched with an internship site based on various factors such as geographical location, interests, and other personal factors. During internship, participants receive hands-on experience and the chance to utilize skills learned in class. All internships are working with an adult population (over 18).
As Jump Start's goal is to help participants gain employment in the mental health field, participants are provided with extensive employment support such as resume review, mock interviews, and job leads.
Since its first session in 2007, Jump Start has graduated over 700 individuals who have moved on to work and/or to pursue higher education in the mental health field.
Who is eligible? People who have completed 24 college credits are eligible to apply for Jump Start. Preference is given to those applicants who have a Bachelors' degree in any field, those who have a lived mental health experience or are family members and have completed 24 college credits. Also, individuals who are bilingual and/or bi-cultural from underserved populations and have completed the minimum 24 college credits will be given preference.