Starr County Campus Mental Health Conference sheds light on field

The South Texas College Starr County Campus Psychology Club Mental Health Conference was held at the campus auditorium on Nov. 20, 2013. From left, STC Board of Trustees Chair Rose Benavidez, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, STC Psychology Instructor Eli Sarabia, STC Licensed Professional Counselor Mara García, Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District LPC and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Jessica Vera-Rios and STC Psychology Instructor and Psychology Club Adviser Alex Sarabia.

The STC Starr County Campus Psychology Club Mental Health Conference was held on Nov. 20, 2013. From left, STC Board of Trustees Chair Rose Benavidez, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, STC Psychology Instructor Eli Sarabia, STC Licensed Professional Counselor Mara García, Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District LPC and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Jessica Vera-Rios and STC Psychology Instructor and Psychology Club Adviser Alex Sarabia.

South Texas College students and community members gathered at the Starr County Campus in Rio Grande City on Nov. 20 to learn more about the mental health field during the Psychology Club’s Starr County Mental Health Awareness Conference, held at the campus auditorium.

 Special guest panelists Jessica Vera-Rios (RGCCISD Employee, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor), Mara Garcia (STC Starr County Campus Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor), and Alex Sarabia (STC Psychology Instructor and Licensed Professional Counselor) discussed career options in mental health, misconceptions about the field, challenges mental health professionals face and the types of patients/disorders they have treated.

“What was so amazing about the conference was to see the counselors and panelists so committed to their jobs,” said Heidi Elaine Saenz, Psychology Club president and Starr County Campus student. “It would be great to have more therapists or counselors like them in Starr County to assist the one in five people afflicted with a mental health disorder in the U.S.”

Mental Health Conf - web 2“Our ultimate goal was to bring awareness of mental health to the Starr County community by sharing our experiences in the field,” added Alex Sarabia, STC Psychology Instructor and conference panelist.

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera delivered the opening remarks at the conference, while STC Board of Trustees Chair and Starr County Industrial Foundation President Rose Benavidez concluded the event.

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