The Webster Institute’s Third Annual Symposium Will Explore Culturally Responsive Integrated Care in Health and Mental Health

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The Webster Institute for Clinical Scholarship’s (WICS) Summer Symposium, which explores various issues in the field of counseling every year, will explore how health care providers can better address social justice issues and how they should be incorporated into counseling sessions. Titled “Health, Mental Health & Access: An Ecological Perspective Culturally Responsive Integrated Care as a Social Justice Issue,” the day-long symposium will bring together experts from the field to discuss various aspects of social justice in mental health. 

The event is scheduled for June 15 on Webster’s main campus.

“If a counselor is oblivious to the inequities that a patient faces on a daily basis because of the color of their skin, their gender, their religion, or a host of other factors, they cannot effectively help that person deal with those daily stressors,” said Professor Muthoni Musangali, who serves as the department chair of Webster University’s Department of Professional Counseling. “It is therefore important that mental health professionals are clued in to the external factors in the lives of their clients that can give rise to, or exacerbate mental health challenges.”

The WICS Summer Symposium brings scholars and counseling graduate students together to present their research, expertise, and experiences in the field of health and mental health care.  The program will feature presentations from Webster university’s WICS Scholars, students who are the beneficiaries of a federal grant to increase access to culturally responsive mental health care for high-need communities in the St. Louis metro area. Social Work and Nursing students from a similar grant at SIUE will also be featured in the day’s program. 

During sessions, attendees will be able to network with supervisors, community partners, and nearby Health Resources and Services Administration – Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training award recipients. The WICS Summer Symposium will also provide opportunities for site supervisors, faculty, local counseling professionals and other HRSA-BHWET grantees to earn free continuing education units through the National Board for the Certification of Counselors (NBCC). 

The Institute for Clinical Scholarship was co-founded by Professors Musangali, Hasmik Chakaryan, and Molly Stehn after Webster University was awarded the Health Resources and Services Administration – Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (HRSA-BHWET) grant in 2021. The grant aims to increase the supply of culturally competent behavioral health professionals to promote access to quality behavioral health services. Musangali is the principal investigator and Professors Hasmik Chakaryan and Claire Martin are co-investigators on this grant.

Under the four-year grant, Webster University partners with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and other community agencies to implement a Clinical Case Management/Ecological model to improve the delivery of mental health services to high-need and underserved populations within the greater Saint Louis region. These underserved communities include Black/African Americans, refugees and immigrants, English Language Learners, low-income, LGBTQ, rural, and others who face cultural, linguistic and/or economic barriers to health care in the greater St. Louis region.

The Summer Symposium is also made possible through the generous support of Chiron Community Giving Foundation, a local non-profit organization that provides opportunities, resources, and support for organizations that are working to promote positive change for underserved and low-income communities in the Saint Louis region. 

The Webster Institute for Clinical Scholarship and the SIUE BHWET grant are supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,083,454 million with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

Visit  to register for the Symposium. 

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