Hopelessness.

Stress.

Mental, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion.

Many people are experiencing these feelings after watching the horrifying events unfold on Jan. 6 at our national’s capitol. This secondary trauma, also known as vicarious trauma, can happen after a national disaster such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the COVID-19 global pandemic, and now the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Thankfully, counseling centers like Harold Murphy Counseling Center in McKinney are expanding services to help. On Friday, the center expanded its services to Collin County and surrounding areas. They are encouraging residents “to elevate their mental health and empower their lives.”

It’s due to a partnership with the Department of Counseling at Texas A&M University-Commerce and McKinney ISD. They are providing low-cost, quality mental health services for adolescents, adults, couples, families, and groups.

“The Harold Murphy Counseling Center is an excellent example of the university’s partnership with regional school districts,” said Dr. LaVelle Hendricks, the interim head and professor of the Department of Counseling at A&M-Commerce. “Providing services to these communities is critical during this global pandemic.”

Early beginnings

The counseling center began its collaboration in 2011 and started offering services to McKinney ISD students and faculty. Director Candace Chuyou-Campell said the center provides graduate and doctoral counseling students the opportunity to hone their skills under the guidance and supervision of licensed professionals.

“We are a training facility,” said Chuyou-Campbell, who helps monitor the students. “We’re able to use our master’s and doctoral level students to provide quality mental health services at an affordable price.”

Chuyou-Campbell received her doctorate from A&M-Commerce. She is a licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist. She spent a decade at a non-profit agency dealing with trauma and abuse and claims the Harold Murphy center serves a vital role in the community.

The counselors emphasize a wellness model to realign mental health by addressing underlying issues. They offer counseling services, parent education classes and psycho-education assessment for children ages six through 16. They are only offering services virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and on a sliding fee scale since the center doesn’t accept insurance.

“Where the clinical model assigns a diagnosis and medication, the wellness model focuses on what happened to get the client off their path, and how we can get them back there,” Chuyou-Campbell said.

“We focus on obstacles that keep clients from being where they want to be. We work with our clients’ behaviors, depression and anxiety, and really help them with their feelings and let them find their voice and take charge of their lives.”

Located at the Greer Annex at 510 Heard Street in McKinney, HMCC operates from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Learn more about the HMCC.

Christian McPhate

Christian has been working as a freelance journalist in North Texas for more than a decade. His stories have appeared in the Dallas Observer, the Houston Press, and Rolling Stone magazine. He covers a...