In 1974, the National Institute of Mental Health established the Ethnic Minority Fellowship Program, a grant initiative, to enhance services to minority communities through specialized PhD training. After 1994, NIMH transferred the Minority Fellowship Program to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
In 2007, the Minority Fellowship Program (for doctoral students) was created at the AAMFT Research and Education Foundation, whose mission is to fund systemic and relational research, scholarship, and education in an effort to support and enhance the practice of systemic and relational therapies; advance the health care continuum; and improve client outcomes. SAMHSA began to fund the AAMFT MFP in 2008. In 2014, under President Obama's Now is the Time Initiative, SAMHSA expanded the Minority Fellowship Program to include the MFP-Youth for masters students. The MFP-Y program aims to increase the number of culturally competent Master's-level trained behavioral health professionals available to serve children, adolescents and youth transitioning into adulthood ages 16-25.