Outreach as Intervention: The Evolution of Outreach and Preventive Programming on College Campuses

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It is widely acknowledged that demand for clinical services at university and college counseling centers (CCs) has increased over the last several years. CCs have had to adapt service delivery methods to meet the demand for services. One of the more recent developments in CCs lies in providing primary (preventive) interventions to the campus at-large through outreach and preventive programming. These interventions are aimed toward reducing demand as opposed to promoting services and gathering potential clients. This article describes changes in outreach delivery in 3 ways. First, descriptions of some of the more prevalent and proactive outreach activities are given. Brief explanations concerning the increased emphasis on social justice, large-scale events, campus partnerships, liaison programs, satellite offices–embedded models, uses of electronic and technological advances, postvention and community response, and topic-specific programming are given. Second, the changing administrative functions of those in charge of outreach at individual CCs is described. Last, a description of the establishment and ongoing need for a national organization for outreach administrators and professionals is outlined. Recent survey data completed by outreach professionals are also discussed, as are future directions and implications for how CCs quantify training and direct service activities.

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