Spindletop Center partners with LU counseling to grow mental health community access

The Spindletop Center and Lamar University have partnered to increase access to mental health services while also providing jobs to new graduates. Spindletop partners with LU

The T.L.L Temple Foundation awarded a grant of $517,942 to Spindletop Center, which will fund six entry-level therapist positions over three years. Positions will be filled by newly licensed graduates of Lamar University’s master-level counseling programs. 

In addition to funding salaries, the grant also funds fees for professional supervision, which all licensed professional counselor associates are required to obtain during their provisional licensure. 

“I'm super passionate about this position because I really love southeast Texas and I’m passionate about mental health,” Emily Ross, Spindletop Center clinical intern coordinator, said. “It allows me to take part in merging the two together.” 

According to Ross, the grant’s purpose is to enhance the center’s mental health staff. The goal is to hire Lamar students, help them fall in love with the southeast Texas community, and stay in the area once they’ve earned their licensure. 

Emulating the Livingston Burke Center’s model to utilize counseling students within local communities in order to enhance access to mental health resources, Ross said she’s excited for Spindletop Center’s relationship with LU Counseling to now shift to a partnership.  

Although the center has been involved in departmental trainings and education efforts in the past, this will be the first opportunity for them to offer paid positions to LU counseling students. 

“It’s a deepening of our already existing relationship,” Ross said. “We’re unifying under the shared goal training in the mental health field.” 

She is currently working with the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau and other community partners to help create a positive experience and offer opportunities for new hires where they will hopefully connect and feel rooted in southeast Texas. 

“A big part in their training will be showing them how to network and introduce them to everything Beaumont has to offer while also serving the community,” Ross said.  

Counseling professors, Dr. Shannon McFarlin and Dr. Belinda Lopez, are coordinating the application process for recent graduates and students graduating in May  

Counseling students interested in the position can look for the application link in the resources organization that is dedicated for their counseling program. 

For questions, email Dr. McFarlin at swilliams126@lamar.edu or Dr. Lopez at blopez7@lamar.edu.