Rural Mental Health Care

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Develop Expertise in Rural Mental Health Care

Oregon Tech's M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy Program is offered in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountain range in beautiful rural southern Oregon,about 20 miles north of the California border.The program graduates skilled clinicians who strengthen and support child and family services and mental health care in rural southern Oregon and northern California.

Why Rural Mental Health Care?

Klamath Falls, Oregon is identified as a Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. HPSAs are geographic regions, often counties like Klamath County, that lack enough mental healthcare professionals to meet community needs - a serious shortage that includes Marriage and Family Therapists. Mental health care needs in rural areas differ from those in urban areas. Rural communities generally have higher rates of mental illness and substance use disorders; and suicide rates, for example,are significantly higher in rural areas.

Unique Needs of Individuals and Families Living in Rural Areas

Students in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program learn how to address concerns unique to clients living in rural areas. These include, but are not limited to: Greater mental health care needs-The availability of qualified mental health care professionals-The stigma of receiving mental health care services-Social isolation -Access to transportation, and the need to travel greater distances-Access to health care coverage.

Required Rural Mental Health Care Coursework

Information about Rural Mental Health Care is integrated throughout the MS MFT curriculum, and is a particular focus in the following required courses:

  • Clinical Practicum (12 credits)
  • Rural Mental Health Care and MFT (3 credits)
  • Rural Considerations in Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention (3 credits)
  • Medical Family Therapy in Rural Areas I: Intro to Med MFT (3 credits)
  • Medical Family Therapy in Rural Areas II: Advanced Med MFT (3 credits)

Rural Suicide: Jefferson Public Radio interview

with Dr. Kevin Garrett, LMFT, Oregon Tech MFT Clinical Director

National Health Service Corps Student Loan Repayment Program

Oregon Tech MS MFT graduates who become licensed and practice in HRSA identified underserved rural areas, like Klamath County, are eligible for up to $50,000 in student loan repayment for every two years of full time work. HRSA Student Loan Repayment

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