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College Counseling

The resident in this track of training will focus upon improving access to mental health care for student Veterans served by VA Bedford HCS meeting them in the community they reside in.

College Counseling
Dr. Kate Bartels |

The resident in this track of training will focus upon improving access to mental health care for student Veterans served by VA Bedford HCS by meeting them in the community they reside in. Residents work with an inter-professional team of mental health providers (psychology, nursing, social work, psychiatry, marriage and family therapy, and vocational rehabilitation specialists) to engage student Veterans who are newly accessing mental health services and who are also enrolled in neighboring colleges and universities as part of the Veterans Integration To Academic Leadership (VITAL) Initiative. Residents will have the opportunity to integrate psychosocial rehabilitation and community reintegration interventions within the hospital and educational institution settings VITAL is partnered with. This includes opportunities to provide individual therapy, group therapy, supported education, and case management. Because student Veterans may also be utilizing educational benefits for tuition assistance, residents will be expected to collaborate with Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) staff to ensure student Veterans’ treatment and educational goals are being met. Direct clinical care will be offered traditionally at the medical center or college campus, and via tele-mental health to the student Veteran’s home or college campus. Residents will also have the opportunity to engage in program development and outreach activities, including but not limited to, education and training to staff and faculty members, enrolling student Veterans into VA Healthcare, and providing clinical support during student Veteran-led campus activities (e.g. New Student Veteran Orientation and Veteran’s Day campus celebrations). All residents in this sub-track also collaborate with key medical center leadership, administration, and supervisory staff. Residents within the College Counseling sub-track will study and apply the principles and practices of interprofessional care. This track is particularly well-suited for residents who wish to work flexibly and engage in community-based interventions and program development in emerging contexts for student Veteran care.

Learning objectives

1. Effective implementation of supported education interventions to facilitate veteran’s integration of
new knowledge/skills.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of psychosocial rehabilitation, community intervention, and the
concept of recovery.

3. Ability to work with student Veterans to accurately determine and document student Veterans
community reintegration goals.

4. Ability to work with student Veterans to accurately determine internal and external obstacles to
Veteran’s community reintegration goals.

5. Ability to assess Veterans’ need and readiness for change and motivation to engage in educational

6. Ability to target and work toward specific goals in collaboration with the student Veteran.

7. Skill in facilitating student Veterans integration into the community through supported education,
case management, and mental health treatment.

8. Ability to independently provide direct clinical services in the community.

9. Demonstrate proficiency in assessing and identifying student Veterans needs and connecting them to
the appropriate care.

10. Display comfort in engaging with community stakeholders and responding to needs that may arise
spontaneously when in the community.

11. Demonstrate proficiency in independently curating and maintaining community relationships.

12. Ability to engage in interprofessional care with VHA and VBA professionals.

13. Ability to evaluate the various aspects of the program’s interprofessional care in order to determine
necessary program needs and modifications.

14. Ability and initiative to design and implement programmatic changes.

Target professional experiences

1. Carry a flexible caseload of student Veterans interested in mental health treatment, supported
education, and case management (Estimated 15 hours/week).

2. Provide direct clinical services to student Veterans at one to two college campuses a week (Estimated
10-12 hours/week).

3. Collaborate with inter-professional trainees and faculty on an inter-professional team to provide and
promote Veteran-centered clinical care and recovery.

4. Provide consultation, outreach, and training to medical center and educational institution staff
regarding VITAL services and student Veteran needs.

5. Provide supervision to earlier-in-training psychology students.

6. Determine specific program needs and modifications.

7. Assume relevant administrative responsibility with regard to managing caseload.

8. Design and initiate program development activities in collaboration with program staff.