LA County Stipend Program

LA County Student Stipends

The Department of Health Services selected Phillips Graduate Institute of Campbellsville University to administer the student stipends issued by the Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health (LAC DMH). The LAC DMH Stipend Program is a workforce initiative of the state’s Workforce Education and Training (WET) Plan and funded through the Mental Health Services Act for five fiscal years, 2022-23 thru 2026-27.

The purpose of the LAC DMH Stipend Program is to recruit and grow the public mental health workforce with qualified clinical professionals completing the following degrees:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited School of Social Work (MSW)
  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in marriage, family and child counseling, marital and family therapy, psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or counseling with an emphasis in either marriage, family, and child counseling or marriage and family therapy (MFT)
  • Doctorate from an accredited college or university in psychology, educational psychology, education with the field of specialization in counseling psychology, or in a discipline deemed equivalent by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Board of Psychology (Ph.D./Psy.D.)
  • Approved Master’s level Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner’s Program issued by an accredited college or university (NP)

Each year 144 stipends will be awarded and allocated as follows: MSW (60), MFT (60), Ph.D./Psy.D. (20), and NP (4). The County has the option to move stipends between disciplines based on the number of qualifying applicants. The amount per stipend regardless of discipline is $18,500. Students awarded a stipend will need to commit one-year employment post-degree in a clinical capacity at either a directly operated or agency contracted by LAC DMH.

Phillips’ California Stipend Program of Campbellsville University at the Los Angeles Education Center has previously administered the MFT portion of the LA County DMH Stipend Program since 2005. Information for educators and interested students on the implementation of the stipend program will be provided on this website, which will be frequently updated. As well, all documents that students will need to review or complete will be accessible here.

Goal and Objectives of the LAC DMH Stipend Program

The goal of the LAC DMH Stipend Program is to contribute to the public mental health workforce with qualified new clinical professionals. It serves as a financial incentive to attract well trained, linguistically, and culturally competent students that will serve communities and consumers who have been historically underserved due to geographic location, or cultural and linguistic barriers, or intensive and difficult to recruit mental health programs. Towards that end, the program will offer educational stipends each academic year to graduate-level students in the four disciplines specified above.

The objectives of the LAC DMH Stipend Program include the recruitment of students with experience in the LAC DMH mental health delivery system through practicum training, and students with linguistic capacity to provide services in one of the threshold languages. The county has identified the following as threshold languages: Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Farsi, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, additional Chinese dialects, and American Sign Language.

To fulfill the goal and objectives of the LAC DMH Stipend Program, students with any of the following qualifications and/or experiences are encouraged to apply:

  • Interest in post-degree clinical training and practice of mental health care.
  • Interest in working as a mental health clinician in their own communities.
  • Field training (practicum) in a DMH operated or contracted agency.
  • Field training (practicum) in a community setting (non-DMH) that provided experience applicable to public mental health care.
  • Clinical services provided in a non-English language.
  • Knowledge and training in evidence-based practices.
  • Experience in field-based practice such as in schools, homes, and other community sites.
  • Clinical service to older adults, veterans, immigrants, or the unhoused.
  • Clinical care to those dealing with trauma, domestic violence, child/elderly abuse, or substance use/abuse.
  • Personal experience overcoming hardships or emotional/physical challenges.
  • Personal experience of family members dealing with serious mental health illnesses.
  • Clinical experience providing in-person care.

The application will allow students to provide information on their experiences and qualifications such as those listed above.

2022-2023 LA County Stipend Program

Students completing their degree between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023, qualify to apply for the 2022-23 stipends. Students can begin on February 22, 2023, to complete and submit their application. Applications submitted after March 22, 2023, will not be processed.

The application will be in three parts:

Part One – Applicant Information will include student’s identifying information, the school student is attending, and the degree student will complete;

Part Two – Qualifications and Experience will include student’s practicum training information, clinical services provided, client population served, threshold language/s spoken, cultural competency, and specialized training other than curriculum courses;

Part Three – Essays will include three essays wherein students will describe in detail their interest in public mental health practice, the personal and professional capacities they bring to clinical care, and their clinical experience providing clinical care in-person and Telehealth.

The three essays are divided into sections, seven in all. Limit your responses to 200 characters per section.

Parts Two and Three will be scored by a Selection Committee consisting of mental health professionals in each discipline who are knowledgeable in the clinical programs and the clients served within the county’s mental health delivery system. The scores will be ranked separately by discipline. Students selected to receive a stipend will be based on the ranking of scores in their discipline. Students will be informed via the personal email provided in Part One whether their application was selected or not selected to receive the stipend. (Please note that applicant scores will not be provided to students.)

Students selected to receive a stipend will need to attend the Stipend Orientation wherein they will be provided information on their obligation to secure employment in a DMH operated or contracted mental health agency. The Stipend Program Employment Contract which students will need to sign and submit will be reviewed and discussed during the orientation. The issuance of the stipend funds to selected students will be explained at the orientation and will require that students complete and submit an IRS W-9 form and a Direct Deposit form.

The date of the Stipend Orientation, via Zoom, will be provided to students when informed of their selection. Attendance at the Stipend Orientation and submission of the signed Stipend Program Employment Contract, W-9 form, and Direct Deposit form are required for students to accept their stipend selection and to receive the stipend award of $18,500.

All communication to students by Phillips’ California Stipend Program will be through the following email address:




Can I fulfill the employment obligation working for another county department, such as DCFS or Probation?

The stipends are awarded by the LA County Department of Mental Health (DMH) to grow its clinical workforce, so post-graduate employment needs to be at an agency affiliated with DMH.

I plan on pursuing another degree, am I still eligible?

Stipend recipients need to secure full-time employment at a qualifying agency. Pursuing a second or higher degree cannot interfere with that obligation.

What is considered full-time employment?

Full-time employment is determined by the agency/employer. Workdays and work hours are, of course, also determined by the agency/employer.

I am studying here on a student VISA, am I eligible to apply?

The goal of the county’s stipend program is to augment its pre-licensed clinical workforce ultimately increasing its licensed professional staff. Any temporary legal residence or employment restrictions does not promote the goal of the county’s stipend program.

Can I apply for another stipend once I have fulfilled my employment obligation?

Stipends are one-time awards to students while completing their degree. Once you have fulfilled your employment obligation for one year, you may qualify to apply to a different workforce program such as a loan assumption.

Do I need to live in LA County or attend a school in LA County in order to qualify for the stipend?

Residence in LA County or attendance at a school located in LA County is not required. However, if awarded a stipend you will need to secure qualifying employment at an agency in LA County that is affiliated with DMH.

Are students who can provide clinical services in another language, like Spanish, more likely to be awarded a stipend?

Although an objective of the county’s stipend program is to address the need for behavioral health care in the primary language of its consumers, capacity to provide services in a language other than English is only one of the qualifications that promote the goal of the county’s stipend program.

What if I am not able to complete one year of employment, do I need to return the stipend amount?

If you are not able to complete one-year, 12 months of qualifying employment, you will need to return the stipend amount of $18,500.

How will I receive the stipend amount of $18,500?

The full amount of $18,500 will be directly deposited to student’s bank account. Educational stipends, such as the ones awarded by the county, are tax-exempt if used for educational costs. The stipend amount will not be reported as income to the government.