Save the CCC!
Dear Dr. Armiñana, We/I are/am saddened by the decision of Sonoma State University Provost Andrew Rogerson and Dean of Social Sciences Elaine Leeder to shut-down SSU's renowned Community Counseling Clinic. We/I respectfully request an open dialogue with the provost, dean, and department - with full inclusion of the clinical director and staff - to discuss other approaches to resolving this issue. This will be a great loss not only for Sonoma State University but for our community. This program has provided crucial, real-world training to interns in SSU's Masters of Counseling program and is considered a “national beacon” by CACREP, its accrediting agency. The loss to so many families, individuals, children, and students will be enormous. This clinic (already funded for 2012) is the only fully free clinic in the North Bay and has provided mental health counseling services for thousands of low-income families, individuals, and students for over 19 years. Agencies throughout Sonoma County have come to depend on the CCC for its clients most in need. Given national and local cuts to mental health and social services, this clinic – with local agencies continuing to refer new clients daily – is needed more now than ever. The ambiguous reasons for the closure is the concern over sustainable “professional” supervision and the potential liability that creates. Yet this shocking decision was made with no consultation of all stakeholders whose information and experience would otherwise be considered crucial for making a decision as far-reaching, and possibly devastating, as this. Neither the clinical director, Emeritus Professor Dr. Mark Doolittle, nor staff interns were included in the assessment or funding discussion. Seemingly discounted in the decision are the 19 years of operation where not a single legal or ethical case has been brought against the clinic or staff. The reasons for this drastic decision do not stand up to critical inspection. We/I respectfully request an open dialogue with the provost, dean, and department - with full inclusion of the clinical director and staff - to discuss other approaches to resolving this issue.