“We don’t want people to have to choose between things like housing and food and getting mental health care for themselves or their families should they need it.”
Joy Redstone, Director of the Counseling Center at Naropa, says there is an intersection between economic fragility and mental health in a city like Boulder which is seeing rising rates of economic inequality, “one of the things we see in Boulder is that there’s an increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots, and where once we might have just seen a certain segment of society struggling financially, now we’re seeing 2 income families (struggling)…it means that people are economically fragile and can’t necessarily spend on other needs like mental health care.”
Redstone says she herself has been in that economically fragile situation, with 50% of her income going to pay a mortgage “It was extraordinarily stressful and I worked two jobs and did what had to be done, but I know for a fact that that’s a hard way to go and it’s a very fragile place.” Redstone sees more and more families in a similar situation which creates a lot of stress, financial, emotional and mental stress “where one thing…your car breaking down or an illness, whether that’s a mental health illness or a medical illness, can tip someone into an economic vortex and whatever underlying vulnerability someone might have, the prolonged economic stress of those kinds of situations are very very hard on people.”
On October 1st, Naropa opens its low-income mental health clinic to help people in this situation access affordable counseling services.
People can make an appointment by calling 303 546 3589 or emailing counselingclinic@Naropa.edu. The clinic offers late afternoon and early evening hours to accommodate people’s work schedule. The counselors are 6 Naropa graduate students who are trained in a variety of modalities, from somatic counseling, trans-personal counseling to contemplative counseling.