Behavioral Health (CAP-BH) Program

CAP-BH group activity where members are standing in a circle creating a web of string

What is the Mason Community-Academic Partnerships in Behavioral Health (CAP-BH) Program?

The purpose of this program is to increase the number and quality of MSW professionals with specialized behavioral health training to address the complex issues that arise from untreated trauma and behavioral health issues. This program provides a multi-layered approach to understanding the root causes and consequences of unmet behavioral health needs, the importance of integrated care, and advanced tools for treating trauma and violence exposure. MSW students in their specialization field practicum will be trained through didactic and experiential learning; two required elective courses that provide them with the theoretical understanding of violence prevention, trauma and recovery, and/or integrated behavioral healthcare; and hands-on application of advanced skills through virtual reality/simulation, telehealth, tele-mentoring, role-playing, and case-based discussion. Each CAP-BH recipient will receive a $10,000 stipend during the year they are in the MSW specialization field practicum. 

Eligibility and Acceptance

Eligible students must be entering their specialization field placement of the MSW program. Both on-ground and on-line MSW students are eligible to apply. Online MSW students MUST be within commuting distance to the GMU Fairfax campus so that they are able to attend select in-person mandatory trainings.

Students who are in the Title IV-E stipend program cannot also be in the CAP-BH program. If students apply to both and get accepted to both, they will have to choose only one stipend program to attend.

According to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) regulations, individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible to participate.

In exchange for the $10,000 stipend and extensive specialized behavioral health training, accepted students must successfully complete the expectations outlined below, in addition to any other expectations outlined in their commitment letter.

Program Expectations

Stipend Recipients will successfully complete (in accordance with the Department of Social Work’s requirements) the coursework necessary to receive an MSW degree. The required elective coursework for the CAP-BH program includes:

  • Trauma and Recovery, AND
  • Selected Topics in Clinical Practice: Interpersonal Violence OR Behavioral Health Interventions Across Systems.

Stipend Recipients will participate in the full-day CAP-BH Orientation prior to the fall semester. Date and time TBD and will be announced by the end of the spring semester.

The Stipend Recipient must not receive a grade below a B- in any of their classes in their MSW program during their stipend year. 

Stipend Recipients will not violate the Department’s professional standards and behaviors as explained in the MSW Student Handbook. 

Stipend Recipients will successfully complete a specialization field placement in an approved setting. 

Stipend Recipients will register for and participate in a field seminar specific to the CAP-BH program, which will take place bi-weekly on either Tuesday or Thursday evenings from 7:10-10PM.  Online students must participate in this seminar synchronously.

Stipend Recipients will participate in additional CAP-BH seminars/ training/ professional development opportunities as indicated by the Project Director(s). Many of these trainings will occur on Fridays from 9:30AM-12PM, with approximately 6-7 trainings per semester, some of these will be in-person, but most will be virtual.  In-person trainings include a Motivational Interviewing training, a Yoga for Trauma, a Virtual Reality Training, and a 2-day long in-person DBT training (Friday/Saturday).  There will also be several virtual case presentation trainings at those Friday times.  As noted, some of these trainings are in person and some will be held online, but students must be able to participate in the Friday trainings synchronously and in the modality mandated by the training.   Additional trainings include some asynchronous virtual trainings, two remote telehealth trainings, and other trainings/learning opportunities at dates and times TBD. 

Stipend Recipients will complete and submit all required information necessary for accurate reporting and project documentation for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 

Stipend Recipients will provide one-year post-completion employment status and respond to requests post-graduation for information necessary for program reporting purposes such as licensure status and career placement. 

Application Process

We will begin accepting applications in early November for entry into the program the following fall. To apply, complete the application packet electronically. To access the application form, please click on this application link (current GMU students only).

The application packet consists of four sections:

  1. Application questions. Please complete the relevant demographic and contact information in the application form. Demographic information is for reporting purposes only.
  2. Personal statement. Please provide a 250-500 word statement regarding why you are interested in this program.
  3. Names and Email Addresses of Faculty. Please provide the name and email address of a social work faculty member who can serve as a reference for you, and the name and email address of your field liaison. These faculty members will be sent an email asking them to complete a rating form of your performance as a student.
  4. Applicant’s resume. Please upload the resume to the application packet in the appropriate field. Please do not include your home address on your resume.

Applications for the 2023-2024 CAP-BH program are due by Thursday, December 15, 2022, no later than 11:59pm. Only complete application packets will be considered. 

Application to CAP-BH and Acceptance into the MSW Advanced Standing Program

Advanced Standing applicants should not wait until they receive a decision letter from the MSW program before applying to the CAP-BH Program. Applicants interested in the MSW Advanced Standing Program and CAP-BH program are encouraged to apply to both programs separately, adhering to the deadlines for each program.

Advanced standing applicants should use this application link to apply. As part of your application, please email your resume to Nathalie Musfer at

Applications for Advanced Standing applicants for the 2023-2024 CAP-BH program are due by Sunday, January 15, 2023, no later than 11:59pm. Only complete application packets will be considered. 

Contact information:

Denise A. Hines, PhD
CAP-BH Program Co-Director
(703) 993-2024

Health Resources and Services Administration

The CAP-BH Program is funded by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

For more information on this funding program, please see this webpage:


2022-23 Cohort

CAP-BH 2022-23 Cohort

From left to right, top to bottom: Frankie Keesee, Liza Fitzgerald, Caroline Craig, Christopher Valente, Steve Rosenblatt, Marketa Campbell, Melissa Schwartz, Teresa Martin, Rocio Rodriguez, Brandi Johnson, Jasmine Simmons, Danielle Vado, Angie Flores, Cassie Magee, Olivia Ferrante, Susannah Herrada, Rebecca Leung, Sana Iqbal, Caroline Diebler, Anna Christopher, Vianna Christianson, Amanda Blair, Eleni Burchard, Minnie Thurkal, Lila Elliott, Tara Amor, Joshua Blum, Grace Thomas, Kylie Cunningham, Stella Assefa.