LARAMIE, Wyo., Aug. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in three Wyoming counties will continue to have access to free therapy and counseling services with continued Verizon Foundation funding of a tele-health program administered through the University of Wyoming Psychology Department.
For the past three years, clients of Wyoming Safehouse in Cheyenne, Carbon County COVE in Rawlins, and the Gillette Abuse Refuge Foundation in Campbell have been able to connect to the University of Wyoming Psychology Department Clinic, using secure, encrypted videoconferencing equipment. This allows clients to receive free, evidence-based therapy for difficulties stemming from partner violence, without leaving their local community.
The psychotherapy service is provided by UW students who are pursuing doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, and all services are supervised by Dr. Matt J Gray, associate professor in the UW Department of Psychology. Clients can get assistance with symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder that often result from partner violence and sexual assault, but they can also get support and counseling related to decisions surrounding abusive relationships. In addition, the doctoral students gain valuable real-world experience working with this group of people.
The $6,234 Verizon Foundation grant will provide partial funding for a master's-level therapist to help staff the clinic. Having a therapist dedicated exclusively to this clinic allows clients to benefit from services provided by a provider specializing in these issues, and it ensures continuity of services and increased access to care for crisis center clients.
"Mental health therapy is critical to helping survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives," said Dr. Gray. "Our partnership with the Verizon Foundation enables us to use technology to provide specialized care to those who need it most."
This grant brings the Verizon Foundation's total support for the program to more than $34,000 over the past three years. To date, clients seen through the clinic have reported significant improvements in depression and PTSD symptoms and have endorsed high satisfaction with services provided.
Chris Lewter, Verizon Wireless Mountain region president, said: "Domestic violence is a hidden epidemic in the United States, and it has devastating impacts on individuals, families and communities alike. At Verizon we are commitment to ending domestic violence and using the latest technologies to support survivors."
For more than a decade, Verizon has been a champion of ending domestic violence through its various business units and its philanthropic foundation. Verizon supports a broad range of programs that include training healthcare practitioners and first responders about screening for signs of abuse; collecting no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories, with proceeds supporting and furthering domestic violence prevention programs; and allowing all Verizon Wireless customers to easily connect with a domestic violence counselor by dialing #4673 (#HOPE).
About the University of Wyoming
Nestled between two mountain ranges in southeastern Wyoming, UW offers varied academic and lifestyle opportunities including year-round cultural and recreational activities. Located in Laramie, a town of more than 30,800 with a unique blend of sophistication and Western hospitality, UW draws over 13,000 students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries. UW offers 197 areas of study, a small student/faculty ratio, and renowned faculty. As a nationally, recognized research institutions, UW's global impact begins at our very own doorstep with innovative undergraduate and graduate research opportunities.
About the Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company's innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon's employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about Verizon's philanthropic work, visit www.verizonfoundation.org; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/verizongiving).
SOURCE University of Wyoming