The Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program aims to address gaps in access to mental health care and disparities in health outcomes between rural and urban areas of South Carolina. This program helps repay educational loans up to $25,000 a year for two years for qualified behavioral health professionals who contract to practice in rural and/or underserved areas of the state.
To be eligible for this program, professionals must have completed an accredited graduate training program, hold a valid and active license, and be employed full- or half-time in the provision of behavioral or mental health care. Qualified disciplines include:
- Clinical nurse specialists in psychiatry/mental health (APRN, CNS)
- Nurse practitioners in psychiatry/mental health (APRN, NP)
- Physician assistants in psychiatry/mental health (PA, PA-C)
- Psychiatrists, all specialties (MD, DO)
- Psychologists (PhD, PsyD)
- Social workers (LMSW, LISW)
- Licensed professional counselors, associate (LPC)
- Marriage and family therapists, associate (LMFT)
- Addiction counselors, associate (LAC, CACII, CCS, MAC, NCACII, ADC, AADC)
Professionals participating in the Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program must fulfill their service obligation at an eligible practice site located in a Mental Health Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) in South Carolina. Additional practice site eligibility requirements include Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement and sliding fee scales. This program does not connect professionals with employment, applicants must be employed at an eligible site in order to participate.