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Mental health courses in works


FORT DRUM — SUNY Oswego aims to help meet the region’s need for more specialized mental health professionals by re-introducing its graduate mental health counseling program on post.

As part of the SUNY North Country Consortium, the program will begin part time Monday with an eight-week trauma management and stewardship certificate course.

“We wanted to start this course because of Fort Drum and the providers,” said Yvonne Petrella, SUNY Oswego’s dean of continuing education. “We’ve had a lot of conversations with chaplains and representatives from hospitals and other groups. The certificate is timely, knowing issues the military is facing.”

Mrs. Petrella said the course also can be a way for people to try a graduate-level course before deciding to make the multiyear, part-time commitment to complete the graduate mental health counseling program’s 60-credit requirement.

Core requirements include multiple levels of psychological foundations, clinical assessment, vocational development, family systems, research methods, 12 credits of electives, and both a practicum and internship in mental health counseling.

Courses will be offered one at a time, for 10 to 12 students, unless enough interest generates the need for multiple required courses on post. Mrs. Petrella said more students wishing to complete their degree more quickly may take additional classes online or at the Oswego campus.

The trauma course will teach about traumatic disorders, recovery and treatment. Trauma stewardship, or self-care needed to avoid secondary trauma, will also be reviewed, according to SUNY Oswego materials.

Concentrated courses, Mrs. Petrella said, tend to work better with schedules of working professionals. A typical course is 15 weeks long.

As a consortium, she said, SUNY schools work together to bring their niche programs on post so there’s no competition or counter-productivity.

The graduate mental health-counseling program will prepare students for their license to practice.

Although the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization did not specifically recruit the program here, as it has with many other health education programs, Mrs. Petrella said SUNY Oswego has worked closely with the group.

The trauma course will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, beginning Monday and ending May 6 at the Fort Drum Education Center, 4300 Camp Hale Road. People interested in taking the course may call the SUNY Oswego office on post, at 773-9007.

More information may also be found on SUNY Oswego’s website,

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