PASCO, Wash. – October 10th is World Mental Health Day. A day that is aimed at bringing everyone together to raise awareness and protect people’s mental health.
Columbia Basin College in Pasco is now offering more incentives to students looking to find a job in a behavioral health setting.
CBC is one of 10 colleges across Washington to receive $25,000 in community scholarships.
According to a press release from CBC, the money is “to support students pursuing degrees that help address workforce shortages and build capacity in our healthcare professions.”
Coordinated Care put out their own press release saying, “The scholarship funds are part of the reinvestment from the health plan into the community.
According to the University of Washington Medicine, almost half of counties in the state do not have a working psychiatrist.
Fishburn said they have a new bachelor’s program in community health that started this year and that enrollment hasn’t dropped.
“They’re very popular programs for us,” said Fishburn. “CBC does a great job of trying to look at the community needs and fill those gaps.”
Joe Streetman has a Ph.D. in mental health care and is an Associate Professor and counselor at CBC. He said the need for counselors is in high demand and because it’s a high-demand job, it’s hard for people to get in to talk to someone.
“The number of people who are just feeling overwhelmed and stressed and having some mental health issues is a consequence of that,” said Streetman.
Streetman goes on to say that COVID has played and is still playing a huge role in mental health.
“As we’re all trying to scramble to get our lives back together and get back to something that is a little bit normal, we have a lot of people who are carrying tremendous grief around with them,” he said. “They haven’t had time to process that grief like we normally would.”
Fishburn has a degree in community health and says community health is there for the community to be educated.
Streetman said he tells his students every day, “You’ve got to remember that you’re a human being and that your mental health is still tied to your physical health.”
According to Fishburn, the college just closed its scholarship cycle and the funds will be awarded this fall for students in winter and spring quarters.
She said the money will be awarded between 20 and 25 students.