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Department spotlight: Human Services

Celebrating five decades of educating those who help others.

By Cory Phare

August 7, 2017

Human Services DepartmentIt seems like not a day goes by without hearing about the nationwide opioid epidemic. And Colorado, like many other regions of the country, is reeling under the weight of the challenge.

Fortunately, that’s where places like MSU Denver’s Department of Human Services are primed to help – but it’s not without challenges of its own.

“Our students are driven to help people,” said Lynann “Annie” Butler, chair and associate professor of the department. “There are a lot of cuts [nationally] to the human services fields across the U.S. at a time when we need them right now.”

Began as “Helping Services,” back in 1968, the department is coming up on 50 years of educating those who serve others in need. And applications for the new recovery-based Master of Science in Clinical Behavioral Health with a concentration in Addiction Counseling will open this January for the program launching in fall 2018.

Another departmental initiative is the Providers for Youth Partnership, which is free community-based training. In addition to strengthening local relationships and providing practitioner licensure refreshers, the event has helped students connect with more than 150 agencies and often land jobs to transition from school to work.

Those are just some examples of the successful efforts from Human Services at MSU Denver. As Butler detailed, the next 50 years hold even more in store, with other departmental innovations in the works to come soon to help those who help others.

“We get a lot of students who come in later as seniors who say ‘I didn’t even know this was something I could study,’” said Butler. “We want to let everyone know we’re here to help.”

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