During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world saw an increase of 25% in anxiety and depression. This stat was first reported in a scientific brief released by the World Health Organization (WHO). More than two years after the pandemic’s start, society continues to feel its effects on mental health.
According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control in September of 2022, the number of U.S. adults who received treatment for their mental health rose from 19.2% to 21.6% in the last two years. Multiple stress factors contributed to this increase. The social isolation experienced during the pandemic prevented Americans from engaging with their communities. Combined with the social unrest, inflation, gas prices, and war in the east, many Americans face unprecedented stress.
The increased demand for mental health care has overwhelmed psychologists. According to a survey of psychologists in the U.S. conducted by the APA, 60% of psychologists reported that they could no longer take on new patients. Roughly 38% currently have a waitlist, and the percentage of psychologists working more than they did before the pandemic increased by 7%. Many psychologists reported not being able to meet the demand for treatment from their patients. Dr. Troy Backhuus a professor of counseling at Crown College Omaha states “Since the pandemic the counseling field has boomed, there is such a need, counselors have long waiting lists and we need real Christian counselors to come in and show them hope and fulfill their needs.”
With the increased demand for mental health treatment, the need for mental health counselors also continues to grow. Crown College launched an M.A. in Counseling hybrid program in Omaha, Nebraska, to meet this growing need. Established before the pandemic, the Master of Arts in Counseling is the only Christian M.A. Counseling program in the state of Nebraska. While its main campus rests in beautiful Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota, the Omaha site still offers face-to-face interaction with professors. The hybrid format allows students to combine online courses with courses at Christ Community Church one night per week. This format creates a tremendous amount of flexibility for adults who are working full-time jobs. This degree is offered primarily online, with a four-day residency at Crown College’s beautiful Minnesota campus in May each year.
Crown College provides a Biblically-based education that develops and equips the next generation of Christian leaders. Christian counseling offers spiritual and emotional healing through the work of Jesus in a person’s life. Whether students are looking to join a Christian practice or want to bring their faith into a secular practice, the M.A. counseling program provides the necessary courses to help students succeed in meeting the nation’s growing mental health needs.
The Master of Counseling program offers classes that cover a wide range of topics like theories of personality, marriage and family therapy, and addictions and substance abuse. Students have the opportunity to develop professional practices from professors with over 25 years of counseling experience.
This program also helps students understand the spiritual side of existence. Integrating a Christian worldview into the counseling profession is emphasized in every part of the program. All of the professors have an active and professing faith and have a strong desire to help their students grow spiritually. Dan Diercks, the Director of Crown College Omaha states, “Crown prepares people by giving them a realistic and relevant education.” Not only does the degree satisfies the academic requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in the state of Nebraska, but it also satisfies the requirement of other states, including Minnesota.
Though the mental health needs of society continue to rise, hope remains. Programs like Crown College’s M.A. in counseling hybrid program in Omaha continue to produce more counselors to meet this global need. By properly equipping the next generation of counselors, people will continue to find breakthroughs in their everyday life struggles. Click here for more information on Crown College Omaha’s Master of Counseling program.