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Nov. 10 Chapel to Feature Mental Health Discussion Panel

November 8, 2021

OBU will host a special chapel service Nov. 10, focusing on the importance of mental health. The service will take place at 10 a.m. inside Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. The chapel will feature a panel of OBU alumni, current faculty and staff, discussing how to identify and deal with important mental health issues.

The idea is to create a greater sense of awareness as to what affects both students’ and employees’ mental health, create a better understanding of mental health issues among the campus community and establish pathways for how to deal with issues whether experiencing them personally or seeing warning signs in others.

The panel will include Dr. Jerry Allan Gates, former director of inpatient therapy and intensive outpatient programs at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Dr. Canaan Crane, professor of psychology and director of OBU’s marriage and family therapy program; and LaShane Hill, director of the Kemp Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic on the OBU campus. The panel will be moderated by Erin Guleserian, director of the residential experience.

All students are encouraged to attend this special chapel service to learn more about the signs and symptoms of various mental health issues, as well as the best course of action to take for help. This panel will serve to inform all who attend on mental health, the effects of mental health issues, available courses of treatment, and how to seek help for ourselves or encourages others to do so for themselves. Above all, it will seek to destigmatize mental health issues and raise awareness of just how common these issues are, bringing the understanding that those who are experiencing mental health challenges are not alone in their journey.

OBU recently hosted a Courage and Connection event which also focused on mental health. During the event, Julie Busler, Oklahoma president of Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) and active member of the women’s ministry at Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, shared about her personal struggles with depression.

Gates earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from OBU. He then earned a Master of Science in psychological services from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Then then earned a Doctor of Christian Counseling from Louisiana Baptist University in Shreveport. He has earned licensure in the state of Oklahoma as an alcohol and drug counselor, marital and family therapist, and professional counselor. He is a seasoned mental health professional with more than 30 years of experience directing patient care and operational programs in diverse settings of inpatient, intensive outpatient and outpatient settings. He served as director of inpatient therapy and intensive outpatient programs at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital in Tulsa for 26 years.

Crane earned a Bachelor of Arts in family psychology from OBU in 1997, a master's degree in marriage and family therapy from OBU in 2000 and a Ph.D. in family science from Oklahoma State University in 2010. He has been a licensed marital and family therapist since 2002 and an approved supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy since 2005. He has been involved in counseling services at OBU, including career counseling and university counseling. As the MFT program director, he is responsible for oversight of the MFT curriculum, clinical training program, facilities, services, and the maintenance and enhancement of the program’s quality.

Hill is a dually licensed marriage and family therapist having earned licenses to practice in the states of Oklahoma and California. She graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in ministry from OBU. In 2010, she earned a Master of Science in Counseling for Marriage, Family and Child Therapy from the University of Phoenix. She assumed her role earlier this month as director of the Kemp MFT Clinic on the OBU campus. She specializes in the treatment of couples and families, grief and loss, and trauma. She is a strong proponent of psycho education to support others in sharing about their mental health and helping loved ones understand mental health. Her goal is to help hurting individuals, teens, families, couples and leaders heal.

The University encourages all students and employees to utilize services available to them through the Kemp MFT Clinic. Students receive 10 free sessions per year, with additional sessions available for only $10 each. Employees receive three free sessions per year, with additional sessions available at a sliding fee scale based on household size and income. All services are completely confidential. The Kemp MFT Clinic provides individual therapy, premarital therapy, couples therapy, family therapy and art/play therapy for those experiencing stress, anxiety/depression, emotional issues, grief, trauma, relationship concerns, coping issues and more.

Learn more about the Kemp Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic at OBU.