Monday, May 21st, 2018

Working on Wellness: new developments in Health and Counseling

Posted on April 30, 2018 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

Contributors: Lisa Belanger, Director of Health Services; Victoria Libby, Clinical Psychologist; Hilarie Fotter, School Psychology Intern and Suicide Prevention Graduate Assistant; Anna Gardener, Staff Counselor and Coordinator of the ROCC

New Director of Counseling Services

The search for a new Director of Counseling Services is underway! There are a number of promising applicants. The committee is hopeful that the new director will begin July 1. Until then, Dr. Janis Mallon will continue as interim director.

Opening the Portland Health Clinic

A few students might recall that USM Health Services once had a presence on the Portland campus, housed in a modest modular unit adjacent to the Woodbury Campus Center.  Over many years time, the modular unit fell into disrepair and in 2010, the decision was made to remove it. Consequently, Health Services no longer had a “home” in Portland and moved to consolidated services at our Gorham location at Upton Hall where we are co-located with our Counseling counterparts. Trips to the Gorham campus for students based in Portland has proven to be a time and energy sink for many, not to mention those sick students who were exposing others while making the trip back and forth on the bus.

Now, eight years later, we have some very good news to report. Beginning fall 2018, USM Health Services will re-open at its new location in lower Sullivan Gym in what was most recently used to house the USM Surplus Store. Initially, clinic hours will be three days per week – most likely Monday, Thursday and Friday but the hope is expand those services over time to five  days/week as resources allow. We will still function as an integrated program with Counseling and work closely with them to address students’ physical and mental health needs. Stay tuned for more information on the re-opening of USM Health Services in Portland. Until then, keep working on wellness! 

Continuation of the Cares Program

If you haven’t already heard of the USM Cares program, it provides suicide prevention services to USM students. In the fall there will be opportunities for student and staff trainings as well as new opportunities for student involvement. Please continue to check the website for these updates!

Growth of The Recovery Oriented Campus Center (ROCC)

The ROCC is a newer addition to the University of Maine spectrum of resources providing peer support and community for students in recovery from substance use and mental health as well as recovery allies. 

There was tremendous growth in this recovery oriented community, with the amount of people visiting the center almost doubling from last year. This academic year brought increased student involvement and new programming. Peer support groups increased with increasing diversity of themes, such as the SMART Recovery group, the Mental Health support group and Creating a Bridge through writing. ROCC peers were able to participate in conferences and collaboration with national affiliations. As the ROCC continues to grow and become an institutionalized asset of USM, we anticipate that these connections and opportunities for students will continue.

Each academic year and indeed each semester, brings changes and more additions to the ROCC calendar. Over the summer the ROCC will offer peer groups in a limited capacity. Please check the website for an updated schedule. Next year we hope that established groups will continue and we welcome new involvement from students!

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