The last weekend in October, from Thursday, October 26, to Sunday, October 29, at Key Arena, Antioch University Seattle’s (AUS) psychology, counseling, and therapy graduate programs were on the frontlines of the Seattle Center Foundation’s fourth annual Seattle/King County Clinic. The clinic is a non-profit healthcare event, which gathers providers from around the state to provide free medical, dental, vision, and mental health services to underemployed and underinsured populations in the Seattle area.
Coordinated and directed by Dan Dodd, PsyD, AUS graduate students Melody Day, Lisa Holombo, Jennifer Law, Jesse Marshall, Samantha Spencer, Holly Wilder, and William Zogg, under the supervision of clinic director Doug Wear, PhD, clinical supervisor Dug Lee, PhD, and adjunct professor Dr. Dodd, provided mental health counseling services in a direct, face-to face clinical setting. The students, along with adjunct professor Joel Bell, PhD, also provided counseling and intervention services throughout the arena and to those waiting in line outside. “These are people who have been up for 28 hours, many are hungry and in pain.” says Dr. Dodd. “The students were there to assess and address their mental health needs as well as encourage the clients to continue through with their medical, dental, and vision services, and to provide support in managing their stress and anxiety.”
Overall, Antioch Seattle’s team provided clinical counseling for over 106 clients, and support/stress management services for 113 clients around the arena. Dr. Dodd has been participating in the clinic since its inception in 2014. “What strikes me,” he says, “is that the amount of patients served hasn’t lessened since then. Regardless of the number served, there’s still a population in need.”
Samantha Spencer shared her experience volunteering at the clinic this year: “I have personally never heard of anything like this: free vision, dental, and medical care. And many insurance providers do not cover dental or vision any longer. I am so thankful Antioch, among all the universities in Seattle, continues to display a sense of social justice by encouraging students to volunteer.”
She encourages her fellow students to take action: “Antioch Seattle’s commitment to social justice can include things such as volunteer work and involvement in politics to running workshops and living more compassionately in the world. I think this opportunity allowed me to apply the skills and education I learned in the classroom to genuine folks in Seattle. I wish more students would volunteer in the future because it is a humbling opportunity. I will never forget this experience and hope to volunteer in many years to come.”
For more opportunities as AUS students to volunteer, please contact your program chair.