The following story appeared in the most recent issue of the UNO Magazine, which highlighted the efforts being made by UNO alumni, faculty, staff and students to promote health and wellness. Read the magazine online as a Flipbook or download a PDF.
UNO isn’t just a place to get a degree. For nearly 60 years, it’s also been a place to get well.
Not just for students, either, but also for thousands of residents in metropolitan Omaha.
Since 1962, UNO graduate students and faculty in the Speech-Language Clinic have provided therapeutic services to clients with speech, language and hearing disorders. Since 1977, students and faculty in the Community Counseling Clinic have delivered individual and group counseling for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families contending with a spectrum of mental health issues.
Better yet, the care provided isn’t just helpful but affordable, too.
“Many people in our community struggle to access mental health services, often due to financial or transportation barriers,” says Daniel Kissinger, associate professor and chair of the UNO Department of Counseling. “Our campus-based clinic helps address both obstacles by offering low-cost counseling services in a location serviceable by public transportation."
According to the National Association of Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults in America experience mental illness and 60 percent of those adults haven’t received mental health services in the past year.
UNO’s Community Counseling Clinic is housed within the UNO Department of Counseling. As part of their clinical training, advanced graduate students provide individual, group and couples counseling under the supervision of licensed faculty members. Students are prepared to help clients dealing with a variety of issues, including anxiety, stress, depression, grief, crisis and trauma, substance use/abuse, professional/career transitions and more.
The counseling clinic is open to students, faculty, staff and community members.
“If we are not the appropriate place, we will help with appropriate referrals so individuals can quickly find the help they need,” says Kissinger, the clinic’s director.
The counseling clinic, housed in Roskens Hall, charges just $10 for individual visits, $20 for couples. Since 2010, it has served nearly 1,500 clients while delivering more than 8,000 session hours. Most clients —about 8 in 10 — are non-students who come to UNO from throughout Omaha.
UNO’s Speech-Language Clinic also covers a wide swath of clients, some coming from as far as Plattsmouth, Blair and even Lincoln. The need is greater than many know — according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 1 in 12 U.S. children age 3 to 17 has had a disorder related to voice, speech or language in the past 12 months.
Also run by advanced graduate students, the Speech-Language Clinic offers its services at low cost to those who may have used up what their insurance will pay for. It is open to the public and serves clients from infants to adults contending with a variety of speech, language and hearing disorders and delays. Student staffers help with anything from stroke or traumatic injury recovery to articulation or accent reduction. Licensed Speech Language Pathologists supervise the students.
Such services date to 1962 and the clinic averages about 100 clients a year. It also is housed in Roskens Hall.
“We have a lot of advocates out there, people who have come through our program that let others know we’re here and ready to help,” says Jill Kumke, clinic coordinator. “It takes a lot from everyone involved. The students clean and keep everything up and running. We rely on the community for a lot of our resources, like toys and books. The university, of course, is very supportive as well.”
To learn more about the clinics or to set an appointment, please contact each clinic directly.
Speech Language Clinic
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.