LifeShops Outreach Tools & Services

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II.  Conduct An Outreach Intake
Conducting an "Outreach Intake" refers to performing the parallel of what counseling centers do before they provide clinical interventions to students seeking individual counseling.   In short, it is a thorough assessment of the client, including psychosocial history, history of presenting concerns, and assessment of how various identity and cultural factors are impacting the students needs.  This also includes an assessment of how counseling center resources can be applied to meet that client's needs, with respect to managing those resources to ensure adequate attention to other center needs, including staff well-being and workload management.   

All of this is to say that--- before engaging in a strategic plan of outreach, consider the campus as the client, and conduct a socio-ecological assessment of the various arenas in your campus, including identifying current strengths and deficits that make up the "presenting concerns" of your campus community or communities.  It is important to conduct this assessment in terms of your Counseling Center’s existing and potential roles and functions on your campus.

  • What is the degree to which the community awareness/understanding of your center aligns with your mission and goals?
  • What is the degree to which utilization of your centers’ services reflects the diversity of the community?
  • How can an analysis of your local clinical data help identify high prevalence or social-context rooted presenting problems?
                - For centers using CCMH tools, review of CCAPS data, SDS data, etc.
                Over-arching themes that emerge in clinical case conference/peer supervision/disposition teams 
                - Student conduct issues
                - Data related to students experiencing academic difficulties (performance and academic engagement issues).

With these considerations in mind, it is then necessary to conduct an assessment of the campus, overall, as well as distinct communities on your campus.  What are strengths and sources of resilience that exist?   What problems and/or needs have high prevalence or high impact that can be addressed via Counseling Center outreach efforts?  In other words, what issues can be identified and conceptualized that can be addressed by counseling center- led programming and/or facilitated community-level therapeutic interventions informed by Counseling Center consultation.   In broadest terms, this assessment refers to  
  • the values of the campus community that are conducive to student resilience, grit, thriving, and joy
  • the toxic and/or marginalizing norms, mindsets, and behaviors that compromise student well-being, diminish academic engagement performance, and safety to the campus community.