SDSU offers counseling services to City Heights

Photo by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor

Photo by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor

by Elpin Keshishzadeh

The Center for Community Counseling & Engagement, a mental health clinic run by San Diego State, is offering three new counseling groups in City Heights this semester.

The three groups, which are specialized for individuals in bereavement, Spanish-speaking Latina women dealing with a span of issues from immigration to depression and a men’s group, are open to 10 to 12 participants each and will meet weekly for 8 to 12 weeks.

Clinic Administrator Mona Klausing said the initial catalyst for the launch of this program began with the offering of a Grief & Loss Group last spring. After that, CCCE began offering a Parenting Group in Spanish in the fall.

CCCE, which has been established for more than 20 years, has served more than 5,000 clinical hours to the community in 2013, Klausing said.

“We have a keen interest in continuing to offer a variety of counseling services to our SDSU and San Diego communities, building upon the services we already provide which include individual, couples and family therapy,” Klausing said. “We also offer in-home therapy services for City Heights residents who are referred by our partner elementary and secondary schools.”

Given their preexisting relationship with City Heights, the CCCE was able to establish itself as a mental health resource to the diverse community.

Jan Ewing, full-time faculty member at SDSU’s Counseling and School Psychology department, licensed marriage & family therapist and CCCE’s clinic director, oversees the entirety of the clinic’s services and operations.

“We are in a unique position to train multi-culturally competent counselors and prepare them for professions in mental health services, while providing vital services to the SDSU and San Diego communities,” Ewing said. “We want to provide mental health services that are affordable, accessible and respectful – particularly for those who may not otherwise have the financial means or insurance to obtain support elsewhere. Additionally, we want to help de-stigmatize mental health concerns and encourage clients to seek help when they are going through tough times.”

CCCE’s approach to the de-stigmatization of mental health concentrates on the avoidance of psychiatric labels and encourages the sharing of life experiences.

All of the counseling services are provided by SDSU graduate students in the CSP and Community-Based Block programs and registered MFT interns under the supervision of licensed therapists and SDSU professors, Klausing said.

In addition to its services in City Heights, CCCE also offers a discounted rate of $10 per session for SDSU students who might not qualify for SDSU’s on-campus counseling and psychological services.

CCCE may continue to provide additional counseling groups varying in topics, in different populations, based on the needs of clients, Klausing said.

Photo by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor