LifeShops Outreach Tools & Services

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Defining Counseling Center Outreach and Goals
Defining Outreach: Outreach is the process of extending the caring and expertise of your counseling center to the broader campus community, in service of the overall mission of your institution and the Student Affairs/Services Division in which your services are located.

Overarching Goals of Counseling Center Outreach Services

I.To communicate the role and availability of clinical, consultative, and psycho-educational functions of your counseling center as part of the overall mission of your Student Affairs/Services Division and your College or University.
  • Challenging stigma assigned to your counseling center and existing stigma associated with mental illness 
  • Prompt inquiry into campus or other cultural taboos on help-seeking, particularly regarding professional assistance
  • Improving approach-ability and usefulness of your counseling center to your campus community, particularly to those populations that under-utilize psychological services when such services could be helpful.  

II.To respond to psychological and emotional needs that emerge in the overall campus community or any given community within your college or university.

  •  Related to any given crisis impacting a community
  •  Related to any identifiable pattern of behaviors suggesting emotional or psychological vulnerability impacting the your campus community.

III.To provide informative materials and programs to your campus student communities aimed at facilitating personal, interpersonal, and social development.
  • To better inform the community about mental health, personal effectiveness, interpersonal connections, and to facilitate development of life skills in these areas.
  • To provide information about mental illness or psychological distress toward creating a more empathetic and supportive community. 

IV.Create Community/Climate of Compassionate and Therapeutic Support: 
  • Provide training to student leaders who often serve in paraprofessional counseling roles (RA’s, peer advisors, etc) and other student affairs professionals.  
  • Increase empathetic understanding of issues in campus community and provide skills training in response to distressed students. 
  • Prompt conversation and/or contemplation on intrapersonal and interpersonal experiences toward facilitating “therapeutic connections” that can naturally exist in the community beyond formal mental health service delivery. 
  • Provide training and consultation to administrators regarding how campus environment, institutional structures and values, and policies and practices can inform and/or impact the students experiences

V.To stimulate the student community regarding the development of their character, and citizenship, both of which are informed by the campus climate. 
  • To play an identifiable role in improving students’ skills in self-management, personal and professional interaction, and ethical community engagement.
  • Increase awareness of social justice issues and introduce skills in forming relationships across spectrums of gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, nationality culture, race, and religious beliefs.
(C) 2008.  Gary D. Glass, PhD