LifeShops Outreach Tools & Services

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I.  Review Drafts of Relevant Plans and Statements for Global Guidelines
An advisable first step, to ensure continuity with the overall institutional priorities of your campus, is to review the relevant strategic plans and published documents that are serving as guidelines across your institution.  This includes 
  • Any other document/white paper published related to your Campus Culture  
  • Campus Life/Student Affairs Strategic Plan and Mission Statements  
  • CAPS/Counseling Center Strategic Plan and Mission Statement

​Reviewing such documents not only helps you advocate for support from administrative leadership, within your center and across the institution, it helps you operate from a "connect the dots" mindset that aims for cohesive campus efforts toward broader and deeper impact. If your institutional strategic plan includes a "health and wellness" dimension, it will be easy to link counseling center efforts to this. However, one of the aims of a comprehensive outreach effort is to broaden the concept of student struggle and resilience beyond the medical/health framework; therefore, it is important to consider how the work of the counseling center helps students grow in ways that link to other goals. 

Pay close attention the language in your strategic plan as it may link to broader campus aims related to academic performanceleadership development, and any initiatives aimed at enhancing student success (often defined in terms that apply to vocational and career development).   Your center likely already articulates that helping struggling students restore their level of functioning when they are facing difficult times.   However, it is also important to keep in mind how clinical services as well as counseling center outreach help students deal with struggle by helping them add nuance to their cognitive functioning, increase insight into student identity and strengths, and help students  engage in reflection regarding personal, relational, and social contexts. These almost certainly overlap with the aims of your overall institution, including any initiatives around high profile issues or institutional campaigns, and your Division and Counseling Center strategies for accomplishing unique and broad missions to serve students and function as part of a larger community. 

 It also important to incorporate into any outreach strategic planning the priorities of other counseling center components. In particular, it is important to ensure some coordination with the coordinator or director of clinical services and any formal training programs based in your counseling center; this enhances overall cohesiveness of efforts while also protecting against any potential conflicts in strategic aims within your center.  This will likely include reference to the how the goals of outreach support efforts to address high demands for clinical services and various high prevalence or high impact presenting concerns.  Local clinical data is an important source of information in developing outreach strategic planning.  Similarly, reviewing the training goals of any practicum or internship programs based in your center will help you identify ways to incorporate trainees into your outreach efforts while also helping to meet the goals of your training coordinators and directors.  This is likely to link to training goals related to professional identity in "college mental health" and the various modes of intervention that trainees will be able to cite as they advance in their careers, as informed by your training program.