Counseling and Community Outreach Specialists
At CMHC we want to ensure that our services are accessible to all students. Research indicates that individuals holding certain identities may experience barriers to accessing mental health care as well as disparate mental health outcomes. While CMHC clinicians and staff are trained in and committed to working with students from all backgrounds, Counseling and Community Outreach Specialist are clinical experts on the mental health of specific student populations and have a unique role in specializing services to meet the needs of marginalized and underserved groups with the aim of reducing risk and improving outcomes.
Counseling and Community Outreach Specialists Support and Provide Mental Healthcare Services for Students
To provide services that are convenient and affirming for students, CMHC offers several ways to connect with the Counseling and Community Outreach Specialists, both inside and outside of the Counseling and Mental Health Center.
- Short-term individual counseling sessions. If students have a preference for a particular counselor based on identity, they can let the BART (Brief Assessment and Referral) counselor know when they schedule. At certain times throughout the year when appointment demand is high, there may be a longer wait to be seen by a Counseling and Community Outreach Specialist. Keep in mind that all CMHC clinicians have been trained to serve students from different backgrounds.
- Clinical support groups at CMHC and throughout campus to promote mental health support within specific communities. These are clinical drop-in and supportive groups and do not require participants to sign up ahead of time.
- Workshops and presentations in academic settings
- Consultation with campus partners and expertise and education about mental health issues for students, student organizations, staff and faculty
- Increased access to CMHC’s mental health services to underserved student communities on campus
- Support during campus community events and community-based traumatic events by invitations
Common Reasons Student Seek CCOS support
- Dealing with stressful life events
- Facing major life decisions
- Experiencing a deteriorating quality of life
- Impacted by obligations, responsibilities, or global events
- Struggling to get out of bed or engage in schoolwork
- Contemplating existential questions like "What is my purpose in life?"
- Coping with medical issues
- Navigating challenging family situations
- Seeking to learn healthier coping skills to enhance interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships
- Adjusting to campus
- Finding community and making friends
- Addressing stigma and fears around seeking help within communities
- Intersections of cultural identities
- Managing mental health symptoms, such as depression or anxiety
- Managing the impact of oppression and discrimination on one’s mental health.
- Academic success and career planning
- Identity development and exploration
- Having healthy relationships
- Distress related to impact of identity on mental health, and more
Collaboration with Student Organizations, Faculty and Staff
Counseling and Community Outreach Specialists work closely with student organizations, faculty and staff to offer consultation, presentations, expertise based on backgrounds, and support as they work directly with students; however, the services provided to students are always confidential. The Counseling and Community Outreach Specialists rely on student organizations, interdepartmental collaboration, and campus partnerships to meet our students’ needs.
Meet the Team
Stephanie Dodoo, LCSW-S, Director, Health Access and Community Impact; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Andorka, Ph.D., clinical expertise in Multiracial and First Generation student mental health; email@example.com
Arna Erega, Ph.D., LPC, clinical expertise in International student mental health; firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna Menendez, Ph.D., clinical expertise in Latinx student mental health; email@example.com
Tina Alexander, LCSW, clinical expertise in Black & African-American student mental health firstname.lastname@example.org
Amelia Zique, LPC, clinical expertise in LGBTQA+ student mental health; email@example.com