Training & Assistance
The Pro Bono Counseling Project has demonstrated its value as a national model and it is essential at this time to use this example to assist other states to build their own programs. Across the country, mental health care is increasingly unaffordable for those who are uninsured and have low-incomes. All ages, races, urban and rural populations have little access to mental health care to solve problems, save marriages, heal generational differences, adjust to long term illness, repair the damage of old emotional and physical wounds, recent assaults, the loss of loved ones and other sources of depression and anxiety that, if left untreated, will only grow and expand to harm others as well as themselves.
The Pro Bono Counseling Project proposes to establish a national clearinghouse in conjunction with the Maryland program to provide information, support, technical assistance and training to interested persons and organizations in other states to establish their own Pro Bono Counseling Projects by:
- working with National organizations of psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatrists, professional counselors, nurse psychotherapists to introduce the model to regional and local chapters;
- presenting the model at national conventions of professional societies;
- setting up a new section of the website that is instructional for new programs and contains copies of forms, marketing materials, proposals for funding, policy statements, etc.;
- bringing together all regional state chapters of these professional societies to plan their approach to the model, determine feasibility by evaluating the provider groups;
- finding local funding and determining the referral base by working with Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Human Resources;
- establishing relationships for networks of support services, particularly legal, to assist clients and their organization to become a 501(c) (3) so as to secure future funding.
- re-creating the original “Nuts and Bolts” Manual of procedures, policies and sample materials and using it to train each new state model program.
When the need for licensed mental health professionals to volunteer their livelihood so as to provide access to clinical care for thousands of families and individuals is documented not just in one state, but regionally and nationally, it will be impossible to dispute the critical need to revise national health care policies.
When funding is received, The Pro Bono Counseling Project plans to start new programs in five states within the first two years. Ideally, the first region will include states contiguous to Maryland. Additional programs should begin to blossom across the country in the third year and PBCP will assist them while continuing as a resource for the more established programs.