Need To Talk? Program Offers Free Therapy & Counseling To CNY

Bridge Street

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Syracuse University and Syracuse Community Connections are teaming up to offer free mental health services to everyone in Central New York.

Students from the Marriage & Family Therapy Department at SU’s Falk College are providing the free and confidential services. They’re under supervision of licensed marriage and family therapists. Appointments are happening in-person and virtually, and no insurance co-pays or other payments are required.

“Originally, our collaboration began with Syracuse University and we had students that were providing the free mental health therapy” says Rachel Johnson, Director of Health Services at Syracuse Community Connections. “Then, to create some sustainability and longevity of the program, we went after some funding from the Community Foundation who awarded us a grant to hire some therapists to continue to free therapy. So, we are a great clinic program, which is why we are able to offer those free services.”

Dominque Walker is a Ph.D. student at Syracuse University. She’s been involved with this particular program for a little over two years.

“I think primarily my passion lied with specifically working with the Black community here in Syracuse, and so it’s been an amazing opportunity to be able to be exposed to the community and to be able to do the work that I’m very passionate about” she says.

The free mental health services include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group counseling
  • Trauma counseling
  • Stress and anger management
  • Coping skills

I think there’s a big misconception around why people go to therapy, and I think a lot of people think that going to therapy entails that something has to be wrong. And I think that that’s incorrect on some aspects. Nothing exactly has to be wrong. I think it’s a space where you can even go to learn how to maintain. There are certain skills that you can develop within therapies such as distress tolerance skills, just different mindfulness skills that can be helpful. Being able to understand just bits and pieces about yourself.

Dominque Walker

If you’re interested in learning more about the free mental health services being offered, just call (315) 671-5838.

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