In May, Ohio University appointed Paul Castelino as the new Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, or CPS.
“(Castelino) is engaged in service work in the community and on campus,” Assistant Director and Training Director of CPS Rebecca Conrad Davenport, said. These personal qualities, along with his experience and investment in the field, make Castelino well-liked and supported by his fellow staff members that he leads and serves, Davenport said.
Castelino originally started his career as a high school teacher, but has always been interested in psychology and human development.
“After teaching a couple of years, I went back to school to get my masters and PhD in counseling, and ever since I have loved my work with emerging adults,” Castelino said. “(The) university setting offers opportunities to collaborate with various student affairs and academic departments.”
After working as a staff psychologist at OU from 2005 to 2009, Castelino traveled to West Virginia University’s counseling center and worked as the training director before returning to Ohio in 2012.
“One of my colleagues here became the director and he asked me to fill the newly created Associate Director position,” Castelino said. “I returned because I missed OU, the beautiful campus and many of the staff and colleagues whom I had come to know.”
CPS’ mission statement is to “enhance the personal development and academic success of students by providing quality clinical, consultation, and training services.” Castelino says that his mission this year is to examine those services and review the scope of their care.
“There is always room to improve. The number one challenge for us is to meet the demand for services. The demand is always going up. We don’t have many mental health resources outside of the university. This puts pressure on the CPS staff to provide the services the best they can,” Castelino said. “We are currently looking into hiring a care manager who can help us with some of our long-term clients and help them succeed in graduating from college.”
This year, CPS is implementing many new programs to ensure students’ success. CPS has embedded two therapists in the Department of Intercollegiate Affairs and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“Our counselors spend two days at each of these locations to provide more targeted services to these students. The counselors would be there to see students for counseling, crisis intervention, and work with staff and trainers,” Castelino said. “This is something we are very excited about; we are hoping that this will continue to grow with other departments.”
Castelino is also excited for another new program CPS is implementing that will utilize a variety of ways to communicate with the student body.
“We are looking into using social media and use of technology in delivering outreach and prevention programs,” Castelino said. “We are focusing on strengthening our existing collaborations with departments that provide student services such as campus recreations, Survivor advocacy Program, Campus care, OMSAR, etc.”
No matter what a student needs when they come to CPS, Castelino wants to make sure that the environment is inclusive and welcoming.
“Our goal is to really provide our services in a way that is inclusive and everyone should know they are welcome,” Castelino said. “Everyone should come here and feel safe no matter who they are.”