News and Events
Faculty Garner Funding for Mental Health Programs in Los Angeles and Orange Counties
Several faculty members at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) have been able to secure grants in support of free and low-cost counseling services provided to those in need by GSEP's marriage and family therapy and doctor of psychology students and alumni.
Duncan Wigg, director of the GSEP Community Counseling Center at the Irvine Graduate Campus, recently led a successful effort to secure an $18,000 grant from the Healthcare Foundation for Orange County to support the Counseling Center's partnership with Village of Hope, a transitional housing facility for nearly 200 homeless individuals.
Village of Hope opened in 2008 and operates as a part of the Orange County Rescue Mission. The donation will sponsor the Pepperdine University Mental Health Collaborative, enabling additional research, supervision of trainees, and further development of a relationship with Orange County Rescue Mission Health Care Services; University of California, Irvine Department of Psychiatry; and Pepperdine University to better serve Orange County's homeless.
Wigg noted that the Counseling Center is pursuing funding that would provide stipends to students and interns interested in this specialized training: "The six master's students and three alumni working at Village of Hope have already provided more than 850 hours of counseling over the last year. Hopefully, a modest incentive will give the students the support necessary for them to continue to serve the residents of Village of Hope and Orange County area. It is because of the students that many neglected populations with limited health care access are able to receive treatment and improve their lives."
Cary Mitchell, professor of psychology, recently garnered $20,000 from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support the Urban Initiative's mental health treatment program at the Hope Gardens Family Center in Sylmar, California. The housing facility allows more than 200 women and children to escape the dangerous streets of Los Angeles' Skid Row. "This generous gift demonstrates the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s continued leadership in addressing the problem of homelessness," said Mitchell. "The funding will allow GSEP students to offer much-needed mental health services to one of the city’s most vulnerable communities."
Finally, as program director for the Pepperdine Resource Youth Diversion and Education (PRYDE) programs, faculty member Robert Hohenstein oversees the clinical training of and counseling services provided by GSEP students and alumni to at-risk youth living in Orange County and the San Gabriel Valley in California. Hohenstein has brought in nearly $700,000 for these programs from several sponsors.
"The key reason for PRYDE's success over the last 10 years is that the approximately 30 counselors that assist us each year have consistently demonstrated the special qualities needed to nurture and motivate the youth," he says. "It is because of their dedication that we are able to sustain and expand our efforts to help youth in Orange County and the San Gabriel Valley."
Learn more about counseling services through the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology at gsep.pepperdine.edu/clinics/.