Clinical Mental Health Graduate Student Awarded Prestigious NBCC Fellowship
What started as an application to an organization she knew little about, resulted in a prestigious fellowship award for Nathalie Solius, a student of GSEAP’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. As a recipient of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Minority Fellowship Program, Nathalie will receive funding and training to support her education and desire to serve minority populations, with a specific focus on transition-age youth. The Foundation received about 200 applications nationally, of which only 30 were funded.
The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) is the nation’s premier professional certification board devoted to credentialing counselors who meet standards for the general and specialty practices of professional counseling. The purpose of this specific fellowship is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals.
Nathalie is a graduate of Pace University and hopes to complete her master’s in May, 2019. When choosing a school for her graduate degree, Nathalie said she connected most with Fairfield’s program.
“Ever since I entered the field and started working at Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, NY in the adolescent unit, I wanted to help teens and young adults,” said Nathalie. “That stage of life is just so important…it helps shape who you become in your future and can be such a hard time with so many changes going on in your body, social changes, and changes at school. It’s a crucial time for growth when teens become their own person and develop their own identity.”
According to Tracey Robert, PhD, professor of counselor education and Nathalie’s faculty advisor, "Nathalie is a very strong student in that she’s eager to learn. She regularly shares her personal experiences in class and raises important questions. The people she works with love her. Nathalie is someone who is going to make a difference in helping families and children.”
Upon graduation, Nathalie intends to continue providing mental health services to transition-aged minority youth in her community. She hopes to provide them with better access to care and to lessen the taboo surrounding mental health care in immigrant and minority communities.
“I definitely think there is still a taboo around mental health,” said Nathalie. “Mental health doesn’t mean mental illness. In the Caribbean community, for example, there is a huge stigma around mental illness. There is a lot of fear, and I want to help people understand that it’s OK to ask for help.”
Earning this fellowship will allow Nathalie to complete her graduate education and provide her with more access to like-minded professionals from whom she can gain and share knowledge to bring back into her own community.