Beth Toomey, MA ’09

Beth Toomey is the Chief of Police in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard. Over the course of her career, she has worked in state hospitals, group homes and has been a foster parent to ninety-one children. She received her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in the spring of 2009.

Island Police Chief Uses Counseling Skills on the Job

Perhaps the most important factor influencing my decision to attend Antioch University New England was AUNE’s alternative class schedule.
“I live on an island and my work as a police chief makes it very difficult for me to leave for more than a day at a time. So the fact that I only needed to be on campus one day a week fit my needs perfectly.”

“I chose to work on a degree in mental health counseling because I’ve been involved in that field for many years. I’ve worked in state hospitals and group homes, and I’ve had ninety-one foster children. As a law-enforcement officer, I’ve always advocated for those with mental health issues, and I’ve been able to divert many people away from the criminal justice system because I approach them with a willingness to listen and understand. I model that approach for the officers under my command, and I’ve seen them gradually adopt it.”

“I work in a small town where resources are limited. As police officers, we wear many hats: we do everything from investigating crimes and car accidents to getting the cows back in the pasture. There aren’t many local resources for helping those with mental health or substance abuse problems. If a resident needs mental health intervention, it usually falls on the police department to initiate at least the first stages of that process.”

“When I first came to AUNE, I intended to become a clinical mental health counselor, but my experience at the school has expanded my horizons considerably. For one, I didn’t realize how my graduate experience would directly enhance my job performance. I’m much more ‘client centered’ now and can interact much more effectively with the people I deal with professionally.”

“Antioch has greatly expanded my worldview and made me a much more culturally sensitive and diverse chief of police-and I consider that an invaluable awareness. My studies have also allowed me to make some important professional connections that I expect will prove very useful in the future.”

“During my first semester at AUNE, we were put through some hefty social and cultural challenges. For most of us, these were eye-opening, life-changing experiences. Antioch University New England is all about exploring and not just acquiring a degree.”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
A black and white image of a circle of young and older people in Uvalde, Texas, holding hands after a gun massacre at an elementary school.

United with Uvalde

Dear Antiochians — I’m sharing with you a message written today by one of our awesome Clinical Mental Health Counseling faculty, Ali Corey, to others

More »
Antioch University

Since our founding 1852, Antioch University has remained on the forefront of social justice, inclusion, and equality – regardless of ethnicity, gender, creed, orientation, focus of study, or ability.

Antiochians actively reflect these shared values to inspire positive change in the world. Common Thread is where we document the stories that showcase our communities actions, so the change we work for can be shared widely.  

© 2020 Antioch University. All Rights Reserved.

Skip to content