Psychology Clinic Opens Soon
The Cameron University Psychology Clinic (CPC) is on its way toward fulfilling its mission of serving the community.
Proposed over three years ago and in the works ever since, the clinic opened for graduate psychology classes since summer 2016. The clinic’s grand opening is scheduled for the fall where it will become available for students to provide free mental health services to the community.
Clinic Director Dr. Joanni Sailor said the facility provides a professional atmosphere for faculty, students and others using it.
“On the ground floor, the Clinic contains offices for the Clinic Director and faculty, as well as student offices, a records room, a reception/waiting area and three therapy rooms,” she said. “The second floor contains two observation rooms … equipped with technology, which allow for viewing of recorded material or live-feeds from the therapy rooms.”
Work on the clinic continued in spite of Cameron’s recent budget cuts as a result from the last fiscal year’s budget shortfall. However, the CPC did not receive any cuts or use Cameron funding because of supporter contributions.
“We received gifts from community members who have a real heart for mental health,” Sailor said. “We will continue to accept donations in order to expand our therapy rooms and services.”
The services offered now mostly revolve around student learning. Behavioral sciences graduate student Misty Robinson said these amenities will continue to help as the clinic grows.
“We will get hands on experience with our professors right there by us if we have any questions or if there is a learning opportunity that arises,” she said. “We will learn all areas of counseling … all while knowing we are in a safe and supportive environment.”
Sailor agreed with Robinson.
“Through the experiential learning, the students develop greater skills and knowledge to prepare them for eventual employment and candidacy for licensure,” Sailor said. “Cameron University is supporting student learning and providing a much needed community service.”
The other major benefit students receive comes from running the clinic itself.
“Our practicum students are not only gaining the experience of providing mental health services in a professional atmosphere but also learning how a clinic functions,” Sailor said. “The students schedule appointments, answer the phones, develop the client record, audit the records for accuracy, and operate the clinic under the supervision of the Clinic Director and practicum faculty.”
According to Robinson, this student focus also translates into providing services to individuals who may not otherwise get help. Fellow behavioral sciences graduate student Amber LaBee emphasized the importance of this mission.
“Being able to offer services for free to the community is going to help better so many people’s lives,” LaBee said, “With mental health being such a huge problem in Oklahoma, I believe it’s one of the best things we could give to those that need it most right now.”
With a philosophy of “in the community, for the community,” the clinic will accept clients who have insurance but are unable to afford mental health services otherwise on top of referrals from physicians, employers and other individuals.
Behavioral sciences graduate student Juan Martinez took classes in the clinic and said the benefits for students and the community are a great addition to his degree work.
“I love the clinic,” he said. “I think that it is a great idea for the university.”
In the future, the CPC will add more therapy rooms and potentially workshops for community mental health professionals. Regardless, Sailor said she is excited for things to come.
“I’m happy and thrilled for our students and the community,” she said. “This is something that both our students and the community will benefit.”