Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. David Castro-Blanco on Mental Health Awareness and Services
Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949. Medaille College’s robust Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, which offers clinical mental health counseling, marriage & family therapy and clinical psychology programs, understands that mental health awareness is important every day, not just for one month.
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology David Castro-Blanco, Ph.D., joined the Medaille faculty in January 2018, and later that year, he assumed the roles of Director of Clinical Training and Clinical Assessment Coordinator for the doctoral program in clinical psychology (PsyD). He also serves as co-chair of the Ethnic Racial Diversity Committee at National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP).
Here, Dr. Castro-Blanco describes the importance of mental health awareness, offers insight on handling stress, and speaks about how Medaille’s counseling and clinical psychology programs are addressing a need in the local community.
Why is mental health awareness so important?
Mental health awareness is really nothing more than health awareness. There's considerable research tying mental and physical health, and it would be a mistake to separate the two. Mental illness costs society time lost at work, costs for treatment and, most importantly, lives. The more aware we all are of mental health and illness, the more effectively we can protect the well-being of all of us.
What makes the programs in Medaille's Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology so invaluable in our local community?
The Western New York, Ontario and Northern Pennsylvania regions are underserved in having mental health services available. Medaille's counseling and clinical psychology programs, especially the doctoral program in clinical psychology, are training people from this region to meet a need here and work here.
What are some of your favorite aspects about Medaille’s PsyD program?
I appreciate our diverse student body and the fact that some PsyD students commute from as far as Syracuse, Pennsylvania and Toronto. Our students want the training and are extremely committed and dedicated. The faculty also create an enjoyable and welcoming atmosphere for all.
How does the knowledge and experience you have gained as a practicing, licensed psychologist affect the content or methods you use to teach future clinicians?
Being able to use some of the real-life applied lessons makes instruction a lot more relevant, because you are not just teaching theory from a book. Students are more interested in learning from someone who has lived what they are learning.
Coming from a psychology-based background, what do you find is the best way to achieve a work/life balance?
Balance is an inapt word. Work shouldn’t take away from life — it should add to it. With the right perspective, work should also give us a greater appreciation for family and personal time.
What is the best way to cope with or handle stress?
Find someone you trust and actually talk about it. Hearing yourself talk oftentimes provides some answers. Keeping problems or stressors to yourself can magnify them, but talking to someone you trust can be therapeutic.
Medaille Partners With Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to Offer New Opportunities to Communication StudentsMedaille has signed three agreements with the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University — a 4+1 program, a 3+1 program and a 30% scholarship agreement — that will take effect immediately and will create new opportunities for communication students.
Medaille College Receives Say Yes Grant From Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Expanding Support and Opportunities for Buffalo StudentsAs part of the newly established Buffalo College Success Network, Medaille is able to offer increased access, support and opportunities to students from the city of Buffalo, thanks to Say Yes Buffalo and a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This June, Associate Professor of English Dr. Alice Villaseñor participated in the “Activism and Empathy” Children’s Literature Association Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, speaking about her experiences teaching children’s literature courses in partnership with the Buffalo City Mission’s Literacy and Enrichment After-School Program (LEAP) Program.
Living out community as one of Medaille's core values, College administration, faculty and staff members gave back to the WNY community by volunteering at local organizations as part of 2019 Day of Service events held in Buffalo and Rochester.
Department of Education Chair Participates in the Council for Exceptional Children Leadership InstituteDepartment of Education Chair Dr. Colleen Wilkinson participated in the 2019 Council for Exceptional Children Leadership Institute in Washington D.C. earlier this month, and facilitated discussions about professional development opportunities for New York State educators.
First time freshmen, transfer students and students who wish to apply for associate or bachelor’s degree programs.
Students who wish to apply for master’s degree programs or advanced certifications.
Students who wish to apply for our online-only degree programs.
High school students and transfer students who want to enroll in day classes at the Buffalo campus.
Adult learners applying to our undergraduate or graduate degree programs at either our Buffalo or Rochester campuses.
Adult learners applying to our online undergraduate or graduate degree programs.