Programs serve mental-health professionals across region
Oxford Treatment Center is advancing its clinical excellence programming, as an official provider of continuing education programs for social workers in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists approved the center as a Designated Provider in October. The achievement comes after a yearlong effort to build a robust CE program that serves mental-health professionals in North Mississippi and beyond.
“Professionals who work in mental health and behavioral health have devoted their careers to helping others,” said Mark Sawyer, CEO of Oxford Treatment Center. “We are very pleased to be able to provide quality training, not only for our own clinical staff but also for providers throughout the region.”
Oxford Treatment Center is based in Lafayette County and provides a complete continuum of care for drug and alcohol addiction. Its staff of clinical therapists includes counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. Each is required to obtain CE credits to maintain licensure.
Among some two dozen designated providers for social work in Mississippi, only a quarter are located in the northern half of the state.
The effort to create CE programming at Oxford Treatment Center has been led by Brian Whisenant, community relations representative. The center’s Continuing Education Advisory Planning Committee included Richard Balkin, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, a Professor of Counselor Education at the University of Mississippi; Jeannie Falkner, LCSW, Ph.D., Mental Health Counseling Core Faculty, Walden University; Marc Showalter, Ph.D., LPC, Clinical Assistant Professor of Leadership & Counselor Education, University of Mississippi; and Larry Wills, LPC, M.Div., Clinical Outpatient Therapist at Oxford Treatment Center.
“The need for local continuing-education opportunities is something we heard often from the mental-health community,” Whisenant said. “Our advisors provided the guidance for programs that would be interesting and practical for mental-health professionals, while also meeting CE criteria. We’re excited to continue building on this strong foundation as we plan for next year.”
Oxford Treatment Center debuted its Professional Development Series at the beginning of 2018. It has so far offered four conferences for a total of 18 CE hours for social workers and counselors. Presenters included both local and national experts. All 2018 CE events have been free-of-charge for mental health professionals.
The final event in the 2018 series is set for Dec. 4. “Finding Peace: Accepting Grief and Loss Through the Holidays” will include presentations by Dean Worsham, M.Ed., LPC, LMFT, of Oxford Counseling Center; and Meaghan O’Connor, M.Ed., NCC, CCTP, and Daniel Winkler, LADAC-c, ACCT II-CCM, CET, both of Oxford Treatment Center. Registration for the 5 credit hours CE program is now open.
While each previous CE program has achieved approval as a stand-alone event, becoming a designated provider will allow Oxford Treatment Center greater flexibility in planning CE events.
The center is also seeking designated provider status for CE programming for Licensed Professional Counselors and for Marriage and Family Therapists.
Oxford Treatment Center also serves as the North Mississippi training site for the Mississippi Addiction Counselor Training (MACT) program, through which professionals can work toward becoming Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC).