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Counseling and Mental Health Services at Harvard University Health Services recently appointed a clinician dedicated to helping counselors schedule sessions with students in an effort to expedite treatment.
The clinician, Brandin Dear, already worked for CAMHS and just recently took on this new role. CAMHS Chief Barbara Lewis said she hoped the new internal coordinator position will allow CAMHS to increase the number of weekly counseling sessions for students it can provide.
“He’s meeting with individual clinicians as a way to try to help them manage so that their schedules are freed up to actually work with students in a more ongoing way,” Lewis said.
The move comes after CAMHS launched a new system this semester to reduce the wait times for students requesting therapy appointments. Before the new system, CAMHS had trouble keeping up with the high volume of requests. Currently CAMHS is trying to manage clinician schedules more effectively so that students who have had a 30-minute session can continue working with the same therapist in subsequent sessions.
“The clinicians were finding it was best to take in the student they saw for 30 minutes to their own caseload and continue to work with the student,” Lewis said.
To this end, Dear will work as an internal coordinator. His role will involve attending team meetings and meeting with clinicians to optimize their schedules.
The goal of this new position is to help clinicians see students and meet their needs in a more organized fashion. Lewis said her hope was that students would be better helped by this update.
“Sometimes students come in and they may be seen infrequently or they may have multiple appointments that they haven’t come for” Lewis said. “Brandin is really trying to help the clinicians and the service be able to see students, meet their needs and then, if they’re finished, let them finish so other students can come in.”
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