Psy.D. students at Radford get real life experience treating mental health patients

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va.- – Radford University students are stepping up to solve what they call a growing problem in the new river valley.

For a few years now, students in the doctoral counseling psychology program (Psy.D.) have worked with the Community Health Center located in Christiansburg, and its satellite offices to provide free mental health counseling services to patients.

Most of the patients live in rural areas and some don't have insurance. That's why the mental health services and other services at the CHC are low cost or free, and provided by a Radford student.

Students are trained to work with other doctors in the Community Health Center. 

"Mental health affects your heart, mental health effects your sleep. It's all interconnected. Students based at a community health center really means they get that perspective. So, they work side-by-side with primary care doctors," said Tracy Cohn, professor of psychology at Radford University and Chair of the CHC board. 

Students work with the CHC as part of their clinical work in their first year in the program.