Article Type: Blog

Unique Internship Program Creates Opportunity

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AdventHealth and the University of Central Florida are focusing on the next generation of mental health therapists with a hands-on learning program.

UCF Masters of Clinical Social Work Students are developing their educational and therapeutic skills while providing therapy to uninsured residents of Orange County, Florida. The students also connect patients to community resources and primary care doctors. to the uninsured residents of Orlando. The Outlook Clinic is one of the most competitive and sought-after internships for UCF graduate clinical social work students, but it wasn’t always this way.

In 2010, AdventHealth partnered with Orange County and the Mental Health Association of Central Florida to create a clinic to help uninsured residents who suffer symptoms of anxiety, depression and co-occurring medical conditions who would otherwise end up in the emergency department. Julie Fleet Bilsky, LCSW, Qualified Supervisor and Clinical Program Manager at the Outlook Clinic briefly explains how she got the mental health internship program up and running.

“I have developed my own method and format to train and teach graduate students therapeutic techniques and modalities, diagnosis, ethics, laws and boundaries. Patient care and safety are first priority, as well as whole-person care and is similar to direct private practice work in the community for a much-needed population. Part of my role is to transition the interns from student to professional, preparing them for a variety of situations. The interns seem to keep their enthusiasm through out their internship. Most of the patients we see are significantly depressed with multiple medical concerns, and often with suicidal thoughts who have lost hope. It seems the patients express a renewed sense of hope from the first session and ongoing.”

Julie has won multiple awards from UCF’s School of Social Work and the National Association of Social Workers. She won the 2014 NASW Social Worker of the Year, the Recognition of Service Award to UCF’s Field Education Program in 2016 and UCF’s Field Instructor of the Year Award in 2019.

Julie says that every student who graduates from her internship program is employed shortly after graduation. It is evident that Julie finds much joy and fulfillment in teaching other future mental health counselors. With many success stories behind her name, Julie Bilsky continues to be a guiding light to patients and students in the Orlando area.

The Outlook Clinic provides mental health services to uninsured adults in Orange County with depression or anxiety disorders. In the past six years, they have seen over 1,470 patients, and 90% of patients have stabilized or improved from receiving services at the Outlook Clinic. This resource is only available in our community because of people like you. Your donation provides much-needed care to some of our community’s most vulnerable residents.  

 

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