Sep 19, 2023 - News

Westminster University's community clinic offers free mental health services

Illustration of many different hands reaching for and holding up a therapy couch.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Westminster University has launched a community clinic and training center to provide free mental health counseling for students and non-students alike, the school told Axios.

Details: The clinic had a soft opening during the spring semester and fully opened last month in time for fall.

Why it matters: Nearly 1 in 5 adults in Utah experience poor mental health, and the demand for mental health services is growing, according to a 2019 University of Utah Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute report.

State of play: Clinic director Anna Lieber told Axios the center launched in response to the need to boost services for individuals seeking counseling, as well as providing more training for students who are pursuing careers in the mental health field.

  • "Westminster University saw an opportunity to address both of those needs," she said.

How it works: Graduate students enrolled in the university's master of counseling program under the direct supervision of a faculty member or a licensed mental health provider will provide services to patients.

  • The clinic is able to provide services for children who are 5 or older, families and adults.
  • There are 10 student counselors working at the clinic, along with three licensed clinical supervisors.

Of note: The clinic also offers couples counseling, which is rarely covered by insurance, Lieber said.

Details: The clinic will be closed for the summer and for three weeks during winter break due to student counselors' availabilities.

  • Lieber anticipates the clinic to be open year-round in 2025.

What they're saying: "It is open to anyone and everyone regardless of their income level," she said. "It is just free mental health therapy."

  • Lieber noted insurance coverage isn't required.

By the numbers: The clinic is currently seeing between 15 and 20 patients —but has the capacity to serve up to 70.

  • Services are available on a first-come, first-served basis, Lieber said.

Be smart: You can make an appointment by calling 801-832-2910 or emailing [email protected]. Walk-in appointments are not available.

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