More than 250 area community members and others beyond Central Oregon have been served over the past year by telehealth services offered by Oregon State University – Cascades Community Counseling Clinic in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Edward Ewe, an assistant professor of counseling and the director of the counseling clinic said the telehealth service has been well received and will continue beyond the pandemic. The clinic will also offer in-person sessions as public health guidance allows. Because of the virtual service, the clinic was able to expand its clientele and serve Oregonians beyond Central Oregon.
“The free confidential telehealth counseling has given clients some freedom during difficult times, allowing them to meet with a graduate student counselor from the convenience of their own home and without the added time for travel, especially during inclement weather,” said Ewe.
The clinic is based within OSU-Cascades’ Master’s in Counseling program and allows graduate students to develop expertise in cognitive-behavioral therapies under the close supervision of faculty and clinical supervisors. These therapies can help individuals manage stress, anxiety, depression and trauma.
During remote and hybrid learning, the clinic was supported by 48 graduate counseling students. Students meet confidentially with clients, whose ages ranged from 18 to 77, as part of an internship or practicum requirement.
“Most of the concerns presented by clients of the clinic are directly related to the challenges of the pandemic,” said Ewe. “Loneliness and isolation, relationship stress, unexpected career shifts, stress due to school or job, difficulty dating, and fear for elderly or vulnerable family and friends, are all relatable and recurring themes.”
About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend brings higher education to Central Oregon, the fastest growing region in the state. Surrounded by 2.5 million acres of mountains and high desert, OSU-Cascades is a top-tier research university where small classes accelerate faculty-student mentoring. Degree programs meet industry and economic needs in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship, natural ecosystems, health and wellness, and arts and sciences, and prepare students for tomorrow’s challenges. OSU-Cascades is expanding to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students, building a 128-acre campus with net-zero goals.