Counseling psychology program to hold Jan. 31 open house

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The counseling psychology program at Bemidji State University will hold an open house on Thursday, January 31 from 5-7 p.m. at the American Indian Resource Center on the BSU campus.

Bemidji State’s master’s degree program in counseling psychology began its third year of existence in the fall of 2007, and from now through March of 2008 will be accepting applications for the Fall 2008 semester.

With a recognized shortage of mental health practitioners in rural Minnesota, the counseling psychology program at Bemidji State has been designed specifically to prepare students to meet licensure requirements set forth by the State of Minnesota. While other schools might offer degree programs in either counseling or psychology, the program at Bemidji State provides an unsual combination program which helps prepare students for doctorate-level study.

In its third year, BSU’s program already has been successful in placing its students in situations where they can provide tangible benefits to persons in the community and surrounding area while also pursuing a high-quality education. Students in the BSU program are participating in internship and practicum opportunities through graduate assistantships in no fewer than six areas on campus, including career services and the counseling center, and in various areas around campus and through outreach programs are as far away as campuses at the University of Minnesota, Crookston and Itasca Community College.

“The students in the counseling psychology program have a huge impact on Bemidji State and on communities as far away as Crookston,” said Kathy Butler, a student in the program who will become one of its first graduates this May. “We’re out there doing the work we’re being trained for.”

Louise Jackson, professor of psychology at Bemidji State, will be presenting “The Crisis in Rural Mental Health and What We Are Doing About It” at the open house.

Anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia are the most prevalent forms of adult mental illness, with anxiety and depression noted as contributing to suicide rates. The primary difference between urban and rural mental health care is that rural areas generally lack health care services and specialists. This shortage exacerbates the impact of mental illnesses on rural residents, as reflected by a far greater incidence of suicide amongst rural males when compared to their urban counterparts.

The counseling psychology open house is intended for students interested in pursuing post-graduate studies in counseling psychology; practitioners looking to build relationships with students and faculty in the program; and for any member of the public interested in mental health in rural Minnesota.

For more information on the open house or the counseling psychology programs at Bemidji State University, please contact Department of Psychology at (218) 755-2880. The Department of Psychology office is located in Hagg-Sauer Hall room 202 on the BSU campus.

Jan. 31
– 5-7 p.m. – Bemidji State University counseling psychology program open house. American Indian Resource Center, BSU campus, Bemidji. Cost: free. For information: (218) 755-2880.