QMHP: the four letters that impelled Lane Salisbury ’20, M ’21 to pursue his master of science in psychology – mental health professions (MSPsy) at Bridgewater College.
BC’s MSPsy graduate program meets Virginia requirements to register as a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP). Students focus on QMHP specialties in their master’s coursework, accumulating the experience and practical skills for many mental health and human services careers.
“What makes the master’s program at Bridgewater so unique is that focus on becoming a QMHP and the well-rounded delivery of content from various areas of the field,” Salisbury says. “One of the big driving factors in the creation of this program was the fact that QMHP has become more and more common and now has guidelines on how to earn the designation, meaning that the demand specifically for QMHPs in jobs has increased. You can have that designation and a master’s degree all in just one year. It’s really a huge opportunity that people can take advantage of.”
An undergraduate psychology major with minors in biology and neuroscience, Salisbury says he saw the MSPsy program as the perfect stepping stone to his long-term goal of obtaining a doctorate of psychology. During his time as a MSPsy student, Salisbury interned with Pleasant View Inc., a Broadway, Va., nonprofit that runs residential and daytime services for adults with intellectual and developmental disorders. Post-graduation, Salisbury accepted a position with Pleasant View as a direct support professional. He now works as a Mental Health Associate in the Behavioral Unit at Sentara RMH Medical Center.
In the future, Salisbury hopes to become a clinical psychologist and provide services to younger clients, as well as services within the population of intellectually and developmentally disabled people. He hopes to do some consultation, assessment, research and teaching in his career.
“All of the MSPsy coursework was very specifically chosen and planned to produce a well-rounded curriculum that would create professionals who have the ability to carry out a variety of tasks,” Salisbury says. “Everything I learned has the potential to be used in my career path.”
In addition to the curriculum MSPsy offered, Salisbury says the welcoming environment at Bridgewater and learning how to be a leader during his undergraduate years were other reasons he chose BC for his graduate degree. He says realizing his capabilities “has been and will continue to be one of the biggest impacts” on his career and perhaps even the biggest impact on his life.
— By Logan Bogert