News of mental health problems soaring in America over the past year is being called the “epidemic within a pandemic”. COVID-19 and its far-reaching economic and social repercussions have more people than ever before experiencing anxiety and depression for the first time. As the number of people who could benefit from help grows, so does the need for accessible, affordable mental health services in communities.
A plan from the federal government proposes help for people with behavioral health conditions to access mental health and substance use care. Delivering this additional help to communities will require the education and hiring of new psychology counselors and other mental health professionals. From my perspective as an educator, I see exciting career opportunities in mental health for students representing South Florida’s diverse ethnicities, genders, and nationalities. There has never been a better time to remove the socio-economic barriers to treat mental health, including cultural biases, affordability and convenient access to services.
At our Albizu Clinic in Miami, clinical psychology graduate students working with professors are expanding statewide reach in English and Spanish with telehealth. The clinic offers professional mental health counseling on a sliding scale based on ability to pay. This is a service that we offer to the community.
One year after the pandemic began, as we acknowledge National Careers Week the first week in March, it seems like an appropriate time to remind anyone seeking a meaningful career that our communities need well-trained mental health professionals of all ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. Please join us in this effort!
Tilokie Depoo, Ph.D.
Albizu University Miami Campus