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Tracy: Program provides essential mental health services

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The University of Wyoming has been considering minimizing a program that is essential to the state’s health and well-being. Due to proposed University budget cuts, the University is considering cutting the Counselor Education and Supervision PhD Program and reducing the faculty. Currently, master’s students have the unique opportunity of providing counseling services in the state-of-the-art Wellspring teaching clinic (with a current waitlist for services) where the students in the doctoral program can provide support and supervision, providing high-quality training. Each first-year master’s level student completes a minimum of 40 hours of unpaid direct client counseling hours, whereby a cohort of 25 students yields 1,000 hours of free community mental health services annually. Counselors in training are always observed by the doctoral students and engage in one-on-one supervision where they can get intensive support, helping to create an educated, inclusive and well-rounded counselor. The PhD program and master’s program are integral to one another. Without the PhD program and with reduced faculty, the master’s students would not have the same quality of education and resources would be strained.

Wyoming residents should be concerned about this issue. In 2020, Wyoming had the highest rate per capita of deaths by suicide in the nation. Last year, there were 181 suicides in our state. Depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health concerns are rising, and the statistics are alarming. This is a time when the University and the state should be focused on training the highest quality of mental health counselors rather than cutting mental health resources leading to a decrease in services. If you are interested in voicing your concern on this issue, please go to and sign the petition to advocate to keep the Counselor Education and Supervision PhD program and faculty. Help us to keep this program running so that we may continue to serve the mental health of UW, Laramie and Wyoming communities to the best of our abilities. Our state needs to come together to destigmatize mental health and advocate for the health and well-being of our residents and students.



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