Commissioners honor WCU for mental health efforts

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Terence Farrell, Commissioner; Tracy Behringer, Outreach, County Mental Health/Intellectual & Development Disabilities (MH/IDD) Office; Candy Craig, Deputy Administrator, MH; Leanne Valentine, WCU, Mental Health Services; Michelle Kichline, Commissioner; Amanda Blue, Outreach Manager, WCU, College of Health Sciences; Linda Cox, Administrator, MH/IDD; Kathi Cozzone, Commissioner.

WEST CHESTER — Chester County’s Board of Commissioners awarded a proclamation on Tuesday to West Chester University for its commitment to address mental health issues on the campus, and in the Chester County area through its Community Mental Health Clinic, as well as its training certification courses in Mental Health First Aid. Awarded during Mental Health Awareness Month, the proclamation was accepted on the University’s behalf by Clinic Director Leanne Valentine and Outreach Manager for the College of Health Sciences Amanda Blue.

The proclamation states: “The University’s collaborative approach is increasing awareness and understanding about mental health, providing needed services, cultivating resilience, and having a lasting, positive impact on West Chester University students and all Chester County residents.”

WCU Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) is affiliated with the West Chester University Doctor of Psychology Program. As a non-profit training and research facility, the Community Mental Health Clinic provides low-cost, cutting-edge psychotherapy, and testing to children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. The Clinic, which officially opened on campus in August 2017, offers a wide range of psychological services, as well as specializations in trauma-related disorders and child & adolescent mental health. Located at 125 West Rosedale Avenue on the eighth floor of Wayne Hall, the Clinic provides services offered by graduate students earning a doctorate in psychology and who are supervised by experienced, licensed psychologists.

In addition to the Clinic, the University has provided free Mental Health First Aid instruction to more than 400 students and members of the WCU community, so individuals can recognize signs and feel confident in assisting with mental health concerns.

Dedicated to bringing the general public together with students, faculty, and staff in an effort to promote mental health awareness, the University’s College of Health Sciences annually initiates Take a Mental Health Day, walks for suicide prevention, and educational programs that create overall awareness about the importance of mental health.

“On behalf of the College of Health Sciences, I am quite proud of this University’s consistent and successful efforts to educate students and those in our community about the importance of mental health and overall healthy habits,” said Scott Heinerichs, interim dean and professor of sports medicine, College of Health Sciences. “As a community partner, the University takes seriously the opportunity it has to help others through education and purposeful initiative.”

Enrolling over 17,000 students, West Chester University is the largest member of the 14-institution Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Founded in 1871, the University is a comprehensive public institution, offering 118 undergraduate programs, 103 master’s degree and 4 doctoral programs in more than 50 fields of study. In addition to the main campus in West Chester, the University offers programs through its graduate center, the Philadelphia campus, and online. Five colleges and two schools comprise the University: Colleges of Arts and Humanities, Business and Public Management, Education and Social Work, Health Sciences, and the Sciences and Mathematics, as well as the School of Music, and the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. The University has consistently been rated a Kiplinger “best buy” in public higher education based on its outstanding education and economic value.

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