Community Outreach Program
After over 30 years of service to the wider community, The Counseling Center’s work and reputation is now well established, with university graduate programs sending students to the Center to learn as interns. The Center’s work could simply continue as it has, offering excellent counseling services on an ability-to-pay, sliding-scale basis to those who are able to come to the Center, but with as many as 8 million Americans with serious mental illnesses not receiving adequate treatment each year, it seems both appropriate and necessary that the Center begin its second quarter century of service by offering even more. There are just too many people in our immediate communities who need and qualify for the counseling and psychoeducational services the Center provides and who are not receiving any mental health services at all. The fact of the matter is that these people will almost certainly go unserved in any meaningful way unless The Counseling Center and other agencies become willing to make programming and services available to people where the people are.
This is what The Counseling Center did years ago, when it became the first agency to send one of its professional counselors to work on site at the newly established Red Cross Homeless Shelter in Lower Bucks County at a time when no psychotherapeutic services were being offered there. This is what the Center did just last year, when it sent one of its professional counselors to work on site with an established support group for persons who have mental health disorders. This is what the Center has done in so many other instances when people in need could be benefited only if the Center were willing to move out beyond its own building and offices into the places and spaces where the people live and work and experience their need.
Therefore, The Counseling Center has begun its second quarter century of service by expanding its services with the establishment of The Counseling Center’s Community Outreach Program. This program will allow the Center to send professional staff out into the community to offer psychotherapeutic services, educational programming, organizational consulting, and community-building training on site to individuals, families, groups, and organizations that simply could not afford or facilitate these kinds of services on their own. It is a program characterized by the Center’s taking the initiative in collaborating with other agencies both to identify the most significant needs of the community and to give the fullest possible response to those needs. In addition, it will be a program that directly addresses the tragic situation in which so many persons and families with mental health needs are completely left unattended.
In a word, this program will allow The Counseling Center to more fully express, in some very meaningful ways, the Center’s very reason for being.