Our internship program is committed to engendering social responsibility in students to identify and effectively address the needs and concerns of people of color. This community mental health emphasis includes exposure to the many service agencies which many patients encounter, often before attempting to access behavioral health services directly. Learning about these settings likewise allows interns to become familiar with the community resources to which they will often refer their clients.
At the beginning of the training year, interns tour several community agencies, where they can develop relationships and initiate collaborations with agency personnel. During the year, interns engage in a wide range of community-related activities, including providing educational presentations about mental health issues; consultation to staff, and education to staff about mental health issues; acting as a liaison between agencies; and providing mental health screenings and referrals. Some local agencies with whom we have collaborated in the past include La Casa de Don Pedro, the Urban League of Essex County, and many area churches and schools.