WSU Welcomes Society of Indian Psychologists Chapter to Campus
by Faith Price
|Greg Urquhart, (Cherokee) doctoral student in counseling psychology, is the President of the new WSU Chapter of the Society of Indian Psychologists.|
When counseling psychology student Greg Urquhart first heard of the Society of Indian Psychologists, he was immediately intrigued.
“There’s not a lot of awareness out in the mainstream about the unique needs of Native Americans, so any organization that gives us a voice – how could I not want to be part of it?” states the 2nd year WSU doctoral student.
Urquhart began researching the organization and the wheels started turning. He gathered the support of his peers, and applied to become a student chapter. This past month, they were approved as the first Society of Indian Psychologists Chapter in the northwest, and one of only two student chapters – the other being located at the University of North Dakota.
“I was blown away by the amount of support we received,” said Urquhart (Cherokee), noting there aren’t many Native graduate students in the WSU counseling psychology program. “It seems like a lot of people are rallying behind us.”
The group hasn’t even had its first formal meeting yet, but they already have about 15 members, including both Native students, and non-Natives who would like to see Native people better served in the mental health arena. Their first meeting will be a “social,” and is planned for December 13 at 5 pm in the Native American Graduate Student Center (Cleveland Hall 27B).
The group’s goals are two-fold, says Urquhart, the newly-formed chapter’s President. Their over-arching goal is to create awareness of the unique mental health needs of the Native community. With that in mind, the secondary goal of the group is to create more original research on Native American mental health issues. Some WSU chapter members are currently doing a survey on Native American military veterans, noted Urquhart.
In addition, the WSU Society of Indian Psychologists hopes to network with other groups on campus to offer a symposium on Native American health issues. Another activity they have planned is to work on an online journal covering research on Native issues.
While the chapter’s membership is made up of graduate students, undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing graduate degrees in psychology are welcome to join in activities, and be mentored by the graduate students. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Urquhart at firstname.lastname@example.org or just show up to one of their meetings. They plan to meet the last Tuesday of every month at 5 pm in the Native American Graduate Student Center starting in spring semester.