eNewsletter - October 2022

Linden Oaks Doctoral Training Internship Program Receives Full APA Accreditation

By: Jacqueline Zierzega, PsyD.

In August 2022, Linden Oaks Behavioral Health’s Doctoral Training Internship Program was granted full accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA). The accreditation, which has an official start date of September 2021, is active for 10 years until September 2031. 

Having an accredited training program not only brings prestige to Linden Oaks Behavioral Health but also improves the practice of Linden Oaks clinicians. Working alongside interns onsite daily expands everyone’s experience as these new practitioners bring cutting-edge, innovative ideas and the latest evidence-based practices to the facility. 

Linden Oaks Behavioral Health has been providing clinical training for graduates pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology for over 10 years. Each year, approximately 12-15 students at different stages of schooling participate in training to gain knowledge in psychological testing and evidence-based therapeutic interventions. 

The internship program provides a yearlong, full-time training experience to students in their last year of schooling, a requirement to become a licensed clinical psychologist. In the 2023-2024 training year, Linden Oaks will offer six internship positions. Applications open in November 2022. The internship program is supervised by licensed clinical psychologists who make up the doctoral training committee. Members include Kelly Ryan, Jacqueline Sierzega, Tawana Edgeson-Steiner, Heather Treat, Laura Koehler, Jerome Kaul, and Jonathon Woodin. 

The APA is a governing body that grants accreditation to schools and clinical training sites. APA accreditation demonstrates that a doctoral, internship or postdoctoral residency program has met the Standards of Accreditation, which prepares graduates to provide evidence-based services that are associated with improved well-being. APA-accredited programs prepare graduates to successfully and ethically deliver psychological services. 

For more information on the program’s accredited status, please contact:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202)336-5979
E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: apa.org/ed/accreditation


Celebrating World Mental Health Day by Fighting the Surge in Mental Health Stigma


World Mental Health Day will be celebrated in a few days with the goal of providing support and eradicating the stigma associated with mental health. World Mental Health Day is an international day dedicated to global mental health education, awareness, and social stigma reduction. The day was established in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members from over 150 countries.

Throughout history, the stigma attached to mental health issues has undergone quite a transformation. Centuries ago, mental health issues were synonymous with the possession of evil spirits, and patients were confined to asylums. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century when physicians began to identify psychiatric and psychological connections. 

 In recent years, we’ve witnessed a movement toward acceptance and an open dialogue about mental health, particularly on social media, as well as within families, workplaces and public institutions. And although the work that’s been done has helped to reduce some of the stigma attached to mental illness, recent current events challenge the progress that’s been made.

Why the new increase in mental health stigma? The rise in high-profile shootings and acts of violence in recent years has led to politicians commenting publicly in ways that draw connections between violence and mental health issues. These discussions have extended into the public consciousness as well.

However, research shows us that drawing an absolute connection between violence and mental health is an untrue depiction of the facts and it also promotes marginalization and challenges for those living with mental illness. This translates to barriers in access to care, reduction in the availability of quality care, and delays in seeking help.

So what is the perception and the reality of the connection between mental health issues and violence? A recent study from Indiana University looked at perceptions about violence and mental health issues and found that assumed associations between the two are rising, leading to public support for forcing mental health patients into treatment. Specifically, in 2018, more than 60 percent of those studied believed people with schizophrenia are dangerous to others and 30 percent believed people with depression are likely to be violent toward others.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, the vast majority of people who live with a serious mental health issues are not violent and, in contrast, are actually more likely to be victims of violent crime than to commit it. In fact, the 2015 MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment study found that only 1 percent of gun violence against others was committed by those with a serious mental illness.

Research suggests that too much attention is focused on a perpetrator’s diagnosis in lieu of analyzing factors such as socioeconomic status or substance abuse history, which may play more significant roles in determining violent tendencies.

What can we do as mental health professionals? As health providers, we’re ideally positioned to identify opportunities to fight against mental illness stigma for our patient population. Beyond our daily efforts to encourage open dialogue, appropriate language usage, and patient compassion and empowerment, there are additional ways we can make a positive impact on the reduction of mental illness stigma, such as:

  • Find ways to get involved in your community to increase education and promote a better understanding of mental health concerns among people of all ages.
  • Advocate on behalf of those with mental illness by talking to your legislators, furthering their education and sharing your support for access to quality mental healthcare.
  • Partner with the public in support of consumer health-related causes, events and legislation, by getting involved either in person or online.

As mental health professionals, advocacy and staying up to date on mental health public policy and legislation is an essential way to continue to make a difference in the lives of our patients.  There is no one better suited to advocate for mental health reform than those working with mental health patients. 

A good resource is the Action Center on the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) website. Here you can view current federal and state legislation and add your name in support of many critical mental health public policy initiatives. One current initiative in the Senate is S. 1985, the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019, which is a bipartisan bill aimed at strengthening mental health and addiction parity laws, among other things. Consider adding your name to the support of this legislation.   

More information on S. 1985, the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019

Connect a patient with mental health resources. For support, treatment/therapy resources and/or information on a behavioral health assessment, call Linden Oaks Help Line 24 hours a day at 630-305-5027 or complete an online Behavioral Health Inquiry Form.


Steadman et al. Psychiatric Services 66, pp. 1238 – 1241, 2015: MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study).