WSSU rehabilitation counseling, on the road for recovery with new community support mobile unit
Winston-Salem State University Department of Rehabilitation Counseling will be hitting the road with their new Behavioral and Health Community Support Unit (BeHCU). This mobile treatment clinic will serve low-income men, women, transitional-aged youth, and veterans from both rural and urban communities in co-occurring behavioral and health disorders such as opioid use, alcohol, and other drug use disorders. The unit will also provide vocational assessment and career development support for veterans and others within the surrounding community. There will also be access to a 24-hour Crisis Hotline.
Thanks to a $3,793,191 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the rehabilitation counseling program will be able to provide treatment services to individuals with serious mental health issues and co-occurring disorders in a dozen counties in the Piedmont Triad.
“While substance abuse treatment centers exist across the Triad, the provision of integrated co-occurring treatment services is limited,” says Dr. Tammara Thomas, associate professor of Rehabilitation Counseling at WSSU and PI for the grant. “The WSSU-BeHCU will expand access to in-person integrated behavioral health services which would include assessments, interventions (e.g. medicated assisted treatment), follow-up and relapse prevention services among individuals with mental health issues. We also aim to decrease communicative diseases such as hepatitis and HIV by improving access to screenings, harm reduction, and preventive care education.
WSSU-BeHCU seeks to increase access to and improve the quality of community mental and substance use disorder treatment services. WSSU’s goal is for BeHCU to become a certified community behavioral health clinic. The mobile clinic will provide convenient, synchronized professional assistance to individuals and families and give them access to services including 24/7 crisis intervention services that may be currently unavailable to them.
“By the end of the year we plan to have a community health action plan in place and host four community engagement symposiums to increase access to and awareness of the services offered,” says Thomas.
WSSU student can also benefit from the BeHCU initiative. The grant supports eight graduate and four postdoctoral researchers, allowing WSSU students to receive mentorship from faculty in the discipline and hands-on experience providing health and behavioral health services. Volunteer opportunities to serve on the mobile unit will also be available to undergraduate majors in WSSU’s School of Health Sciences.
BeHCU, which is scheduled to hit the road in June of 2021, is a component of WSSU’s Center of Excellence for the Elimination of Health Disparities. These services are an effort to promote health equity in Forsyth County and the surrounding rural counties.
Rehabilitation Counseling offers a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation studies and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. Visit the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling webpage to learn more about the program.
About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.