WCCC and AMHC Bridge Communities

January 19, 2016

With the nation experiencing a steady increase in mental health issues over the past few decades, meeting those concerns is a reasonable focus for any organization. In Calais, Atlantic Mental Health and Counseling endeavors to provide mental health services for the community, and it has proven continually successful in mitigating crises and offering ongoing counseling to those in need. However, keeping the certifications up to date for AMHC’s approximately 90 employees was a challenging task, prompting the organization to contact Washington County Community College for assistance.

“We asked WCCC to provide a CRMA course,” AMHC Director Clem Deveau explained. “There are so few resources in this area—previously, we were giving the weeklong class here.” WCCC met the need by offering CRMA certification and recertification courses through its community education department. “WCCC has been phenomenal in providing on-site courses to staff.” By way of showing thanks, AMHC recognized WCCC’s Dean of Student Services, Susan Mingo, with a community partner award in December.

The partnership between the organizations has since extended along multiple pathways. The college’s Human Services program provides a pool of knowledgeable graduates for AMHC to draw from, while during their course of study students are able to take internships at AMHC.

WCCC’s students are now able to benefit from AMHC’s extensive counseling services. Last year, a single counselor was available on campus to work with students, but this year, WCCC is providing transportation to AMHC to enable students to see multiple counselors. More students have been accessing the service as a result.

“In many ways, we are a microcosm of society,” Dean Susan Mingo elaborated. “We see students with a variety of mental illnesses, and we work with them on a regular basis.” By coordinating with AMHC, Mingo said that WCCC is much better able to meet the needs of its students. “It can make a difference in whether or not students stay in college. Our goal is always to encourage matriculation.”

The collaboration with AMHC is an example of WCCC’s standing offer to all businesses and organizations in the community. “If were approached by a business that said we needed X, Y, and Z for our employees, we would accommodate that,” Nichole Cote, Associate Dean of Community and Student Affairs said.