Investing in Resources

Investing in resources

Victoria and Derek are mental health clinicians at Missouri State University. Victoria is a mid-career Latina who lives in her hometown of Anderson, Missouri, while Derek is a young Black professional who moved to Springfield from Chicago. Both were drawn to providing mental health services in a college community, however for much different reasons.

Victoria recalls the struggles of being a first-generation student trying to navigate all the forms, deadlines and aid offerings just to pursue her education. She fought to keep up in class and felt very alone in her struggles.

After attaining her master’s degree in counseling, Victoria moved back to her hometown to care for family. She wanted to work with college students but needed flexibility. The Counseling Center at Missouri State provides accommodation for remote services and 24/7 accessible student dashboards. Victoria sets her hours according to when students need help, without having to factor in daily commutes. Alerts on the dashboard allow her to provide preventative assistance before distress becomes a crisis.

Derek and high school best friend, Aiden, attended Missouri State. Aiden’s transition was difficult. His struggle with depression and anxiety interrupted his college experience. It’s a memory that still motivates Derek to find a connection with students in need.

After earning his undergraduate degree in psychology, Derek gained a graduate assistantship in the MSU Counseling Center. The financial support of the assistantship allowed him to pursue a master’s degree in psychology, while the experience he acquired helped prepare him for a career working with college students.

Now as a full-time mental health clinician, he’s helping students like Aiden deal with personal problems and get back on track. Derek knows there are stressors underrepresented students experience that not every counselor can relate to. His goal is to not only be a resource to Black students in need, but also those dealing with mental health conditions.

Both Victoria and Derek believe in the foundational support they provide to Missouri State students. They also appreciate the forward-thinking culture that acknowledges their sensitive work.

Big ideas

Big ideas

  • Staff at the Counseling Center will reflect student demographics.
  • Remote work.
  • Counseling services available 24/7.