Minnesota is struggling to cope with the mental health crisis. Statewide, 80% of Minnesota counties lack mental health workers and facilities. Too many people need help, but not enough therapists to help them.
Untreated mental health conditions can have devastating consequences, including unemployment, chronic health problems, substance abuse, and suicide, with repercussions on families and communities.
As a mental health care professional who manages the operations of 22 outpatient clinics in Minnesota, I am passionate about bringing mental health practices to communities that need them most.
Recently, this has meant opening a new mental health clinic in St. Cloud. While more clinics and providers are needed throughout Minnesota, the St. Cloud Clinic was specifically identified as a top priority for our agency, allowing us to partner with Dr. Tina Sasin in St. Cloud State. I was. Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate Program. Sashin’s innovation and commitment to training the Minnesota mental health workforce were key factors in the decision to open in St. Cloud. I have worked with Dr. Sashin over the years and her ability to strategically address programming that is mutually beneficial to SCSU and her partners in the community, and to prioritize better service to the community, is something that I will work with. Unlike other faculty who have worked.
Saint Cloud is very important to me. I earned my master’s degree from St. Cloud State University, and during my career in the field of mental health care, I have long been a SCSU graduate because of the high quality of practitioners that SCSU graduate programs produce. I’ve been paying attention. SCSU students are exceptionally well-trained and leave the program well-prepared to make a difference in their communities in no time.
Given this legacy, I was shocked to hear the announcement that the current SCSU administration plans to eliminate 83 programs, including a master’s program in marriage and family therapy and a graduate program in clinical mental health counseling. received.
As an alumnus of St. Cloud State University, I understand that budget deficits and declining enrollment numbers require a change in administration. But for an educational institution whose mission is to “positively transform the communities in which students live and work,” this is sadly irresponsible.
With so many people in need of care in the state, what message does this send to the community?
Across Minnesota, the shortage of therapists continues to add thousands to waiting lists. Cutting off the reliable pipeline for these critical health care workers would have compounding implications for both SCSU as an institution and the state’s health care system.
Where SCSU graduates stand out in the workforce is their diversity and real-world experience. Many of the graduates we leave his SCSU are non-traditional international students with unusual real-world experiences. These graduates provide valuable links to the community, connect with patients, and make a big difference in the level of trust and care they receive. Rather than leaving the field like many mental health workers, these graduates become leaders in our community. SCSU is doing something different and unique that we need to support.
Working at SCSU, I have seen first-hand how university faculty go to great lengths to create great learning experiences for their students. It’s hard to see the impact of budget cuts on institutions that strive to provide quality education and produce the best clinicians sorely needed in their communities.
The SCSU administration’s decision to curtail these programs and cut faculty in favor of dehumanizing online programs will have serious implications for the mental health crisis in colleges and states.
for me alma mater And to the State of Minnesota, I sincerely hope SCSU will withdraw this proposal and continue to provide these important programs with funding that meets the needs of the mental health workforce.