How behavioral health care service providers can receive

LANSING — Medical providers of behavioral health services in underserved areas in Michigan are now eligible for medical education loan repayment through the MI Kids Now Loan Repayment Program. 

The program is a medical education debt repayment program that focuses on incentivizing behavioral health care providers to practice in underserved areas in Michigan. It is open to providers of services to both children and adults, but the priority will be providing debt relief to those who serve children.

The program aims to assist schools and employers in recruiting and retaining behavioral health providers who aim to continue to demonstrate their commitment to building long-term behavioral health infrastructure in the communities. The program provides participants up to $200,000 to repay their educational debt if they participate in the program for eight years.

Lindsay McLaughlin, the department’s Bureau of Children’s Coordinated Health Policy and Supports acting director, said in a news release that increasing access to behavioral health services for families and children in the state “is a top priority” for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“Children need both physical and behavioral health services so that they have the best opportunity to grow up to be healthy and successful adults,” McLaughlin said. “Creating the MI Kids Now Repayment Program is one of the ways that MDHHS will address this important need.”

The program is available to behavioral health providers including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, therapists and certified behavioral analysts.

Eligible providers must provide behavioral health services in clinical or public-school based systems located within Health Professional Shortage Areas.

Providers and employers can determine if a practice site is located within a shortage area by entering its address in the federal Health Resource and Services Administration website at Find Shortage Areas, located at

The MI Kids Now Loan Repayment Program application cycle is open through July 29. More program information, resources, applications, and application instructions can be found on the MI Kids Now Loan Repayment Program website.

Behavioral health providers are encouraged to review the materials in advance and submit applications when the cycle begins.

Providers who have questions or need more information can contact Reanna Kathawa at [email protected].

Debt Relief