When God Calls: Mental Health Crisis in Colorado

by Monte Y. Pescador

"You want me licensed to do WHAT?!?"

I recently was at a sort of “career fair” for high school seniors in the county. Around here, the biggest problem with such things is that the community we live in tends to hammer into these kids that big dreams or even medium dreams are not to be chased because they will never make it. Sure, the words out of the mouth say otherwise, but that is what these kids believe by the time they reach senior year, and that is only for the ones that reach senior year let alone graduation.

A woman from the local unemployment office came up to me and asked me an odd question:  “Are you licensed to supervise a substance abuse counselor who is not licensed yet?”

“No, but I am almost a licensed professional counselor. I could supervise another counselor seeking an LPC after that, I think.”

“Well, we need supervisors for substance abuse counselors and marriage and family counselors, too.”

In my life, there is no such thing as coincidence. God has managed to thoroughly hammer that into me, that if He wants something, He will let me know in no uncertain terms and I might or might not end up liking it.

This was one of those times.

I looked it up afterwards. In the last decade, Colorado has achieved some grim statistics: 45th out of 51 states for mental health, 45th out of 50 states for mental health care, 1/3 of the number of mental health care facilities compared to need, nearly twice the national average of people admitting to using illicit drugs, 15th highest divorce rate in the United States etc.

God is requesting that I train an army to combat a very prevelant problem right here in my own back yard.

Wow!

So, what is it going to take?

According to my old alma mater, Colorado Christian University, it will take nearly 17 more classes per additional direction; around 34 classes at around 4 classes per trimester or nearly 3 years more of classes. It will also take 3000 more hours in each of those two fields; 3000 hours of Marriage and Family with supervision and 3000 hours in Substance Abuse with supervision, typically in an MF and SA facility. This equates to no less than 6 more years plus two years of general practice after licensing to, then, supervise all three areas.

And create an army of mental health care workers.

No pressure, right?

God bless, everyone. Time to head into the storm.

 

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