WILLISTON, N.D. - WSC, Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB), and Lake Region State College (LRSC) have joined forces in a pilot project to unify the schools' mental health services for the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters.
The North Dakota University System's Mental Health Task Force had one time funding available, and the task force was open to ideas on how to best utilize the funds for each campus.
"Corey Gorder (DCB counselor), Brigitte Greywater (LRSC psychologist) and I understood that our needs as smaller schools were different than the rest of the state," Leah Hoffman, WSC Mental Health Counselor, explained. "Single counselor schools have much different needs than the larger schools, so we decided to team up and write a proposal for money to best benefit our three schools."
WSC, DCB, and LRSC will establish a Tele-Med program using $12,515.76 in allocated funds from the NDUS Mental Health Task Force. A Skype-like program, Tele-Med is a system where students will be able to talk via a monitor to any counselor affiliated with WSC, DCB, and LRSC.
Each school in this pilot program will have latitude to provide for different needs.
WSC's biggest concern is not having enough providers to refer students to in the local community. Typically, Hoffman sees students for three to four-sessions and makes referrals in the community for more long standing issues. Due to demand for their services, the few community providers are often unavailable. Students, moreover, are sometimes unable to utilize their referral due to insurance and transportation limitations.
"My upcoming maternity leave had to be addressed, as I am due the day before school starts and will be out until into the month of November," Hoffman explained. "I needed to find a way for our students to still receive services while I'm gone."
Greywater, School Psychologist at LRSC, was in a position to help. LRSC hosts graduate counseling students from UND. Required to complete hours of counseling experience at LRSC campus twice a week, the UND interns will be the resource WSC and DCB require to keep up with their demands.
Gorder, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Director of Counseling at DCB has done contract work and private practice for over 10 years providing individual, group and family therapy in several different settings. With his licensure status, he will be able to provide the additional supervision necessary for the UND interns who are housed at Lake Region.
"This will be SO helpful while I'm on maternity leave, and will help the remainder of the year when I need to make referrals that typically would have gone off campus," Hoffman stated. "We all have different specialties, so when I return, I will likely do Tele-med consults with students from their campuses that need addiction services."
If you have any questions, please contact Leah Hoffman at 701.774.4212 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information regarding WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu,
call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.