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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Florida Grad Students Offer Free Mental Health Counseling

Graduate students and faculty in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions’ department of clinical and health psychology provide free short-term psychological therapy for Gainesville-area children and adults who are uninsured or underinsured. It is believed to be the only student-run clinic in the United States that provides free psychological services.

Free Therapy Night, a program of the UF Equal Access Clinics, is staffed by master’s-level UF graduate student therapists under the supervision of licensed psychologists. They offer individual counseling for a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, pain and sleep disorders. Each patient’s treatment consists of five weekly sessions, during which the therapists focus on cognitive behavioral therapy to help patients develop self-care strategies.

Sessions are conducted at UF HealthStreet, a community engagement program that seeks to improve the health of the community by bridging gaps in health care and health research.

“What we’ve seen at Free Therapy Night is that with a little help, lives can be changed,” said Dr. Adam Reid, a UF alumnus who served as a student director of the clinic. “If we can give them that boost that they need to get back on their feet, that’s a win for everyone.”