Outreach program takes proactive approach toward mental health

Instead of waiting for a crisis to happen, UVU’s Mental Health department is proactively providing mental health education and assistance to all students and staff with the new Preventative Outreach Program (POP).

Lead by mental health therapists, these POP presentations cover topics such as time management, self-care, study skills, stress management, relationships, emotions, depression and anxiety and the science of happiness.

“While each individual is unique, these themes have been identified by our student population as the most frequent concerns,” said Marci Young, POP coordinator and mental health therapist.

Any staff or faculty are welcome to host the presentation that can accommodate up to 100 people during any given session.

The POP presentations are designed to reach a large number of people. It was last reported by the UVU Review in Oct. 2017 that the therapist-to-student ratio is 1:5018, while most colleges of similar size have a ratio of 1:3721.

This program is absolutely a response to this ratio as we do have very few therapist for the number of students that are enrolled,” Young said. “For the past few years there has been a focus on mental health at UVU and the administration has been responding with increased resources.”

POP was designed by two doctoral interns, Candilyn Newell and Peter Sanders, who used current psychological literature to design the program, according to Young.

I would also like to be clear that this program does not, and is not intended, to replace therapy,” said Young. “An outreach program and therapy are, at their core, very different. The information in these presentations will not be sufficient to address the concerns of many individuals.”

According to the Student Health Services website, the program is designed for faculty to request presentations for their classes and is also available for departments to request.

Our hope that is individuals will take some of the skills they learn and apply them, and that this will help them manage their concerns, make it easier to treat when they do come in for therapy, or recognize the need to come in for treatment,” said Young. “It also gives us the opportunity to provide information for individuals who may not, for a variety of reasons, have otherwise come into individual or group therapy.”


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