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Wanted opinions
April 18, 2000
8:01 pm
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Cici
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I haven't been posting a lot lately since I'm approaching finals week, but I wanted to get some opinions about an idea I've been throwing around with some business major friends graduating this year.

I've been doing community outreach at crisis center in my county and some work at the AIDS network here, too. I've noticed that a lot of people seek help only when their problem becomes overwhelming mainly because they can't afford counceling, so I was thinking about doing a research project with low-cost community outreach counceling for my doctoral dissertation...That is, maybe a place where people can come to get help before they need to go to a crisis center. There are hotlines you can call, therapists you can pay, social workers even, but no place for those who need counceling but simply can't afford it.

I was just wondering if any of you had opinions, ideas, criticisms, or past experience.

April 18, 2000
11:33 pm
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janes
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Great idea to do the research on what is needed /what the overhead might be/who could staff (interns from university doing pracitcums?) etc.

April 19, 2000
1:51 am
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grace
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That sounds great! This place could offer referral services too (like to programs offering temporary respite for caregivers or health education) so if it doesn't offer a particular service, it could refer. A convenient one-stop shop for a diverse clientele.

You could informally poll the people you currently see at the crisis and aids centers and find out if they think they'd use the kind of place you're creating - why/why not. Also find out exactly what prevents them from seeking help sooner. Is cost really the only factor?

April 19, 2000
12:00 pm
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eve
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The Idea sounds great. If you want to do it as a thesis make sure that you have a "proper" plan about your objectives and how you will evaluate what you did in the end. Otherwise you might end up whith a lot of (useful) work but whithout a degree.

April 19, 2000
12:42 pm
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infaith
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Cici, you make a person proud!
Heres an idea, offer lay counsellor training ( say 200 hrs ) to individuals who feel it would compliment their own lives and who have compassion for others ( volunteers ) then have these individuals do intake and general counselling to those who are n.f.a. or poverty or just cant afford the ridiculous fees of counselling/psychotherapy.
This has always been a passion of mine. God bless you in your work Cici, you are divinely led!

May 3, 2000
11:20 pm
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heartfelt
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Cici..from a single thought transmitted from your heart into action will open all you dream of......Possibly find funding through city, county , state.,or federal resources.....Dig to find a location that may be donated or for minimal cost....maybe seek other profesionals and network your heart out..... As mentioned volunteers who have your dream close to their heart as well. Parents , siblings, those who have lost loved ones...and those who simply have a need to give for the right reasons. Fundraisers, bake sales, garage sales and more sales. T-shirts, bumper stickers, hats...a spot on the news, radio. Network with existing dreams such as yours.you can do it..for all the right reasons yeh

May 4, 2000
9:09 am
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Cici
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I was thinking about this further with my fiance. I'm doing a peer counceling practicum next year and I thought that maybe I could organize it like that. They do peer councelig in middle an dhigh schools, so why not community peer counceling? There are a lot of people interested in helping out othersin this way, but they don't have the time or resources to devote six years to a masters/doctoral program.

May 4, 2000
11:37 am
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Frieda
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A lot of churches have lay counselors who provide a similar service. There's no reason it wouldn't serve community needs, resources would be the trick. You could apply for grants and solicit investors to pay for overhead. Would you provide at least some basic training for the peer counselors, and would you have professionals available for guidance or if things got too deep? Your blazing a trail, Cici.

May 4, 2000
10:06 pm
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Spirit
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You asked why people don't seek counceling prior to crisis time. One reason is the stigma of labels which are so "necessary" (not) in our society. Another is Ego steps up and denies that any problem exists, especially one which needs the help of a mental health worker. My advise would be to take away the tried and true stigmas attached to current-day counceling centers and try a different approach. One that is user friendly right from the getgo. The reason this site is so appealing is it is completely anonymous. One of my favorite ways to talk about how things in life are affecting me is to talk about it in the dark where expressions are heard, not seen. In other words, make the listeners listen with their being, not their eyes. I pray you will bring this about. Giving others peace through understanding is always the best route to take.

May 6, 2000
12:40 pm
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vositor
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Cici, I'm not trying to overpower or control you. This is an opinion.

I think there are probably loads of people who don't have a clue about where to go and don't even know what they're looking for, even though they feel a crisis building. THere are probably a lot of counselors sitting around twiddling their thumbs wondering why they aren't busier when people seem to be snapping all over the place.

It always interested me that when Eskimoes decided to commit suicide, they rode their canoes out into the ocean and got lost. I don't know if it's still true - doesn't matter.

The point is that the methods of dealing with emotional upheaval are cultural. Our way at the moment seems to be to get a big gun and commit mass murder. People choose the solutions they know about and know how to do.

The press hasn't been nearly as forthcoming about counseling as a way to emotional health. "See a counselor" is meaningless blather. How? WHERE do I see a counselor? HOW do I articulate what's bothering me. WHAT do I ask for when I call for an appointment? WHICH counselor do I choose for this indescribable misery I'm feeling? How do I prepare? How do I protect my privacy when I bare my soul to someone who's not a doctor or lawyer or priest? Will I be the subject of cocktail party chatter? Who types up the notes about me? Who files them? Who gets a chance to read them out of idle curiosity?

When you consider how many times that information gets press coverage in a year as opposed to how many times people hear about where to get a gun, it's obvious the solution of choice is going to be the gun. It doesn't have to be that way.

Are you any good at writing press releases and magazine articles and giving interviews?

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