Transforming Lives through Empowered Minds: Spalding’s Mental Health Services Soar to New Heights

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Discover Spalding’s dynamic mental health initiatives: Eagles Excellence Program, PMHNP Program and CaPs

Mental Health session

At Spalding, we are prioritizing our physical and mental well-being!

Our mission is to meet the needs of the times and address the evolving needs of the mental health field. We take great pride in creating a safe and inclusive environment for our students, and we are dedicated to offering exceptional access to mental health programs and resources.

Discover some of our mental health services and programs that focus on helping those in our community with current mental health practices: Eagles Excellence Program, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMNP) Program, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPs). Learn how you can get involved in Spalding’s efforts and bring awareness to mental health in and out of the classroom.

Eagles Excellence Program

The Eagle Excellence Program created by Athletic Director Brian Clinard, and Clinical Psychology student Omar Vasquez, provides mental health resources to student athletes throughout their college journey to young adult life. Hear from Brian and Omar how the program got its start and the impact they hope it has on student-athletes.

Omar Vasquez and Brian Clinard

Omar Vasquez and Brian Clinard

Tell us more about the Eagles Excellence Program, how it started, and some of its short term/long-term goals.

Brian: Our goal is to meet the needs of our students by helping them navigate college and beyond. We hope that the Eagle Excellence Program provides our students with the tools to do so. The goal is for them to take these tools out into the world where they can share the theory or an experience to help someone else along their journey.

What is something that you wish people knew about our Eagles Excellence Program or mental health in general?

Omar: Everyone faces challenges at some point or another. It is a part of being human! I would like people to know that the Eagle Excellence Program is a unique program that will have access to a lot of resources including:

  • Sport Psychology/Life Skills Services
  • Mental Health Services
  • Neuropsychology Services
  • Academic Services
  • Career Development Services

We offer these services in a variety of formats including one-on-one, team workshops, and group meetings.

Are there any misconceptions regarding mental health and athletics that the Eagles Excellence Program is working to dispel?

Omar: Yes, mental health is not always seen as a part of athletics or athletic performance. However, mental health affects athletic performance and vice versa. The Eagle Excellence Program is focused on overall well-being and supporting student-athletes in being the best version of themselves both on and off the field.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program

One of our mental health related academic programs is our Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program. We are proud to recognize their 8-year Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation.

Spalding students on cafe balcony looking at brochure.

Tell us more about the CMHC, how it started, and some of its short term/long term goals.

CMHC Team: In the CMHC program, you will be ready to meet the behavioral and mental health needs of your clients from a wellness perspective, focusing on personal strengths rather than negative behaviors. Students completing the program will be equipped to provide a variety of counseling services, including individual, group, and family counseling. The program equips students to work with diverse populations within the community and assists students in exploring their professional interests through coursework and field experiences.

Tell us why Spalding’s CMHC serves our students and community?

CMHC Team: Students will get hands-on experience in the classroom and in the field. We provide clinical training and community opportunities that serve a diverse client population. Students can expect to get hands-on experience with a variety of clients throughout various community placements. Site opportunities have included working with children and adolescents, traumatic brain injuries, private practice settings, and more. With the increasing demand for mental health care in our communities, the CMHC program equips students to provide vital counseling services to those in need. All of our graduates are prepared to become licensed professional counselors.

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMNP) Program

Our next mental health program is our Master of Science in Nursing inPsychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMNP) Program. Jessica Estes, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner professor, explains that this program prepares you in an advanced nursing role of providing mental health treatment and support services to clients and their families.

Spalding nursing student in class

Tell us why Spalding’s PMHNP serves our students and community?

Professor Estes: Kentucky is underserved in a variety of ways. One of those is mental health services. As prescriber’s PMHNPs fill a gap that are only traditionally filled by psychiatrists whose numbers are decreasing annually.

What is a myth or something that you wish people knew about mental health in general?

Professor Estes: In general, mental health is as real as physical health. We spend time working to prevent physical illnesses but oftentimes don’t make the same commitment to our mental health.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPs)

Here’s another example of our student-facing mental health programs: the Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPs). Allison From-Tapp, Senior Director of Health and Wellness, shares her knowledge on mental health advocacy and mental health resources in everything she does. She has been helping Spalding students throughout their college journey for over twenty years.

Spalding CaPs faculty with student

Allison From-Tapp, Senior Director of Health and Wellness

How is CAPS important to our student body, faculty, staff and community?

Allison: We acknowledge the unique strengths and concerns of our students, while working to enhance life skills, coping strategies, and interpersonal relationships. The primary function of the Spalding Counseling & Psychological Services Center (CaPS) is to provide a counseling service to the students of Spalding University at no extra cost to the client, and, secondly, to provide a learning center for qualified trainees, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows. Thus, this service provides a worthwhile and high-quality professional service to the University student body and addresses a need for supervised experiences for trainees.

What is something that you wish people knew about mental health in general?

Allison: That no one is above suffering. We all suffer in different ways and at different times. Suffering looks different in everyone. No one is above dealing with mental health because we are human. I wish people knew how to give more grace and remember that everyone deals with their own reality. Just because something doesn’t bother you doesn’t mean it doesn’t deeply affect others. Compassion and grace are two things we could all use more of.

What is the call to action? How can potential students learn more about this program?

Allison: We would love to see people connect with CaPS more through some of our outreach on campus. Students can learn more about what we do at CaPS by finding us by emailing at [email protected]. Learn more about CaPs.

How is Spalding promoting mental health awareness year round?

We encourage all of our students to learn more about these mental health services and programs on our website and by talking to our Spalding faculty and staff. Spalding’s access to mental health programs and resources provides students with support throughout their college journey from freshman to alumni. Our Spalding community supports and welcomes all students who want to learn more about mental health services, to educate others, and be a part of a community that wants to better themselves. Remember to reach out to someone if you feel lonely, need help, or want to chat to our Spalding staff. Our Spalding staff is here to support you!

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