As a mental health professional (Wellness Advisor at the Northern Tier Centers for Health), I read with great interest the article “Nonprofit counseling services hit hard by staff shortage”.
Thank you for drawing attention to the difficulties faced by myself and my colleagues in a grueling field that is too often understaffed, underrated and underpaid. However, I felt it was imperative to clarify my role, as the mention in the article failed to capture the breadth of what Wellness Consultants at NOTCH do. The article describes staff wellness counselors who “try to get patients to exercise, eat more and sleep.” Not only is this inaccurate, but it minimizes the intense intellectual, emotional and psychological challenges of the work we do on a daily basis.
NOTCH’s wellness counselors are all master’s-level mental health clinicians trained in evidence-based treatment modalities. Most of our day is spent providing psychotherapy to people with various mental health symptoms. Many of these patients additionally struggle with poverty and generational trauma, adding additional complexity to an already difficult role.
I rarely go an entire day without assessing and providing evidence-based treatment for someone with suicidal thoughts. I’m here to deal with people who finally feel safe enough to reveal a horrific trauma most people couldn’t imagine. By providing these services at Franklin County primary care offices, Wellness Counselors are able to provide quality mental health treatment to patients who might otherwise face barriers related to income, transportation, or health. stigma.
I consider my work a vocation and an honor, but it is also a demanding job that deserves to be recognized and recognized. This was not the case in the article, and I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.
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