NEWSBRIEF: Union Gospel looking for mental health interns

A shortage of clinic interns has hit the Mental Health and Medical Care Clinic at the Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities with the recent closure of Argosy University, which halted its masters and doctorate clinical psychology programs. Mission internships provided clinical experience required for graduation.

“Prior to the school closing, we had one active Argosy clinical trainee and four who planned to start their practicum experience at our mental health clinic.  All the Argosy students were pursuing their doctorates,” said Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Clinic Director Dr. Meaghan Johansen. “They helped us to provide quality services for our students who have experienced trauma and loss in their lives.”  With the graduation of four interns from other programs and two coming aboard this summer, the mission still has two openings for clinical trainees in a master’s level program.

With the abrupt closing of Argosy, the mission is now challenged to fill the gap with volunteers who have the skills and the background for these positions.  Johansen is reaching out to other clinical psychology programs at area universities that need internship opportunities and she also sees a broader base of professionals who could assist the clinic. Among them are clinical psychologists who are retired or semi-retired and want to keep their skills sharp and give back to the community. One element that may appeal to these professionals is the clinic’s focus on counseling, rather than the larger paperwork demands often found in the insurance and government driven settings.

Additionally, short term, specific tasks for individuals who are licensed could include administering psychological tests, working with only a few individuals at a time.

“An added benefit for any volunteer concerned about wellness and personal restoration is realizing the power of the multi-level supportive environment the mission provides,” said Johansen.  “This environment increases the likelihood of healing and restoration when counseling services are provided.” Historically the mission has provided the homeless with food, shelter and a spiritual focus. Later, programs for education and employment were added. With the addition of the Mental Health and Medical Care Clinic in 2018, the mission expanded that array of services to further assist in the personal growth of its students.

Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities provides Christ-centered, discipleship-oriented pathways and programs that restore dignity and wholeness to men, women and children.  Shelter, housing, food and holistic programming are made available to help transform the lives of those experiencing homelessness, poverty, and addiction. More information is available at ugmtc.org. For those interested in interning at the mission, reach out to Dr. Meagan Johansen at 651-444-5839 or MJohansen@ugmtc.org.

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