LifeShops Outreach Tools & Services
LifeShops Philosophy on Outreach
LifeShops Outreach Tools are designed for today’s college mental health and student development professionals. The materials and tools on this website are designed to help you expand your visibility and accessibility to the students you serve. Additionally, a core principle of LifeShops is that effective outreach must go beyond simply ensuring students know of your service to actually extending the caring wisdom and expertise of your counseling and professional staff. In other words, the aim of LifeShops Outreach Tools is to have a therapeutic impact on a community level, rather than allowing healing and growth to be limited to the boundaries of the confidential counseling session. Therefore, LifeShops assumes adherance to particular assumptions about college counseling center outreach and, in essence, the mission of the counseling center, overall.
Recognizing that, with all of the demands for individual appointments with students, clinicians and student development professionals rarely have time to produce high quality outreach materials or programs for the campus communities they serve. However, as the increasing prevalence and severity of mental health issues on college campuses drain resources, with many of these challenges having their origins during middle school and high school, it becomes important to consider also reaching students earlier in their psycho-social development, before problems develop or worsen.
Therefore, the goal of LifeShops Outreach Tools is to actually function as a different medium through which the delivery of therapeutic experiences is offered to the community. LifeShops Outreach Tools assumes a paradigm shift away from “outreach as a supplement” to the counseling services of educational institutions to “outreach as parallel” to the individual counseling sessions.
For college counseling centers, not only does such a paradigm deepen the impact of outreach efforts, it also helps the overall center integrate its goals and articulate a more holistic fulfillment of its mission, with outcome measures of clinical and outreach services in alignment for more efficient reporting of the agency’s utility to the campus community. For high schools (and even some middle schools), such an approach helps introduce a solid foundation of emotional development and psycho-social skills to prepare students for life after high school, fulfilling education goals for both individuals and school communities held accountable for preparing young people for the emotional, psychological, and social complexities of adult living.