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Mental health care is for everyone

Texas A&M's Psychology Clinic is providing accessible and affordable mental health services to the Bryan-College Station community.

By Alix P ’18

There are many stigmas surrounding mental health practices today: You should simply talk yourself out of stressful situations; mental health practices aren’t really useful; you are alone in your hardships or sufferings.

But the proven benefits of mental health services demonstrate that none of these are true. That’s why the Texas A&M University Psychology Clinic provides quality psychological services to the Bryan-College Station communitygoing hand-in-hand with providing professional training for clinical psychology doctoral students.

“Mental health problems involve tremendous suffering and have significant social and economic costs,” said director of clinical training, Gerianne Alexander. “By providing quality mental health services to those in need, our clinic helps create a happier, safer, and more productive community for us all.”

While one purpose of the Clinic is to give doctoral students training that translates science into practice, the byproduct is providing mental health services where they are not available.

Outside view of Milner Hall

The Clinic presents these services at an affordable priceas low as five dollars per session. The hope is to administer services to those who wouldn’t otherwise get them, such as those without the ability to pay or without quality insurance.

“We are available to all ages and populations in our communitychildren, students, working adults, everyone,” Jane Carter, current doctoral student at the Clinic, said. “Mental health should be available and accessible to everyone, not only a specific type of person.”

Psychological evaluations, individual or group therapy, assessments for developmental disabilities: these are only a few of the specialized services available at the Clinic. The doctoral students and staff work only with evidence-based practices that are proven to enhance lives.

“The students work alongside faculty, which makes the on-campus setting of the clinic unique,” said Rob Heffer, Clinic director and associate director of clinical training. “They participate in research, which goes into their practice, which then goes back to influence their research.”

The lobby area of the Psychology Clinic

The doctoral students of the Clinic are shining examples of excellence and leadership. The clinical psychology doctoral program receives over 200 applications, interviews 20, and accepts only 5 students for the program. The goal of the training is to equip the doctoral students with a wide range of skills that can translate into any range of jobs.

Doctoral student Jacob Walla said the Clinic experience imparts him with “a solid foundation, wide and diverse sampling, and real life field knowledge.”

“All of the doctoral students working at the clinic are very diversity oriented,” Walla said. “We want to especially offer mental health care access to the underrepresented populations in our community.”

Three years ago, the Clinic moved into Milner Hall, a location on the main campus of Texas A&M with great accessibility. The contribution of the Clinic enhances the College of Liberal Arts with its innovative, effective work.

“The wise, resourceful person will seek out resources from experts and from those outside of themselves,” Heffer said. “We want people to know that we are available to help.”

Learn more about the Texas A&M Psychology Clinic here.