The Behavioral Health Program focuses on the assessment of mental health needs, the provision of counseling therapy, psychiatric services, case management resources, and educational sessions. Volunteer therapists, psychiatrists, social workers and interns work in close consultation with providers from all of Shepherd’s Clinic programs to address the mental health needs for the comprehensive care of clients. Nick Arbon, MSW, LGSW is the program’s Coordinator.
We currently have three therapists and three psychiatrists providing mental health care, in addition to two social work interns. In FY09, the program experienced a 62% increase in mental health services over FY08. Shepherd’s Clinic patients seeking mental health services are asked to make a suggested donation of $9 for psychopharmacological care and $3 for each psychotherapy session…basically, one hour’s wage for a month of weekly sessions. Case management services are provided at no cost.
What Is Mental Health Care?
- Mental health care is interpersonal treatment for problems in living.
- It involves talking with a trained professional about conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to relationship conflicts and career frustrations.
- Mental health care provides ways to express feelings, understand patterns of thinking, gain perspective on past events and current relationships, set goals, and clarify dreams for the future.
- Mental health care can both alleviate pain and suffering and add meaning and richness to life.
- Trained professionals employ a range of techniques and methods, some suited to particular mental health issues and some that can be applied to clients dealing with a variety of issues.
- All trained professionals seek to increase their clients’ mental health and to act as a confidential and careful listener.
The Professionals at Shepherd’s Clinic
The mental health world is populated with many types of professionals, each with different training, different qualifications, and a different approach. Good therapy is most often the result of a great client-therapist connection. The following professionals offer clients their expertise in the Behavioral Health Program.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who, after completing medical school, receive an additional four years of specialized mental-health training. Psychiatrists treat the full range of emotional and mental disorders, and are licensed to prescribe medication. Psychiatrists sometimes use psychotropic medication in conjunction with therapy to treat patients.
Licensed therapists have a master’s or a doctoral degree in counseling or a related area and complete two years of supervised practice. They are licensed as independent providers of mental health services, including the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional issues, and use a variety of therapeutic techniques.
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Clinical social workers commonly hold a master’s degree in social work (or the equivalent) and have completed two years of supervised practice to obtain a clinical license. They may use a variety of therapeutic techniques, including psychodynamic therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy.
A pre-licensed professional is in the process of meeting the requirements to become a licensed practitioner. They may be interns, trainees, students, or residents, and may treat patients under the supervision and guidance of a licensed professional.
(Source of Definitions: Psychology Today)