Minimizing UW’s mental health and counseling programs would be a mistake

Submitted by Amanda Tracy
Posted 10/26/21

Dear Editor:

The University of Wyoming has been considering minimizing a program that is essential to the state’s health and wellbeing. The mental health counseling and school counseling …

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Minimizing UW’s mental health and counseling programs would be a mistake

Posted

Dear Editor:

The University of Wyoming has been considering minimizing a program that is essential to the state’s health and wellbeing. The mental health counseling and school counseling master’s program and the counselor education and supervision Ph.D. program are in peril.

Due to proposed university budget cuts, the university is considering cutting the counselor education and supervision Ph.D. program and reducing the faculty. Currently, master’s students have the unique opportunity of providing counseling services in the state-of-the-art Wellspring teaching clinic (with a current waitlist for services), where the students in the doctoral program can provide ample support and supervision, resulting in high-quality training. Counselors in training are always observed by the doctoral students and engage in one-on-one supervision where they can get intensive supervision and support, helping to create an educated, inclusive and well-rounded counselor.

The Ph.D. program and master’s program are integral to one another. Without the Ph.D. program and with reduced faculty, the master’s students would not have the same quality of education and resources would be strained.

Wyoming residents should be concerned about this issue. According to the CDC, Wyoming was ranked third in the nation for deaths by suicide in 2017. Depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health concerns are rising and the statistics are alarming. This is a time when the university should be focused on training the highest quality of mental health counselors rather than cutting mental health resources. The state desperately needs mental health professionals to be equipped to respond.

If you are interested in voicing your concern on this issue, please email progrevw@uwyo.edu to advocate to keep the counselor education and supervision Ph.D. program and faculty. Our state needs to come together to destigmatize mental health and advocate for the health and well-being of our residents and students.

Amanda Tracy

Laramie

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