Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare has clinical and/or medical providers at different credential levels, and ensures that all services are provided by individuals who hold the required credential.
These different levels are:
Certified Peer Counselors
Certified Peer Counselors (CPC’s) have lived experience of their own with mental illness or mental health challenges, or have cared for child family members with a mental health issue, and are able to bring that experience and their unique perspective to their interactions with clients. CPC’s must be at least one year into their own recovery, pass an exam and be certified through the State of Washington. CPC’s are often able to break down barriers and establish trust and rapport more quickly than traditional clinicians, by virtue of their lived experiences. CPC’s do much of their work in the community, meeting clients where they feel most comfortable. CPC’s may also hold advanced degrees – many of the Peer Counselors that work at Greater Lakes have Bachelor’s degrees and Master’s degrees. CPC’s hold clinical positions in every program within Greater Lakes.
Counselors and Mental Health Technicians
These individuals work in our Residential Treatment Facilities and in our Evaluation and Treatment Center. They have specialized training in residential or inpatient treatment and in supporting individuals through acute phases of their illnesses and into their recovery. These staff provide 24/7 support to clients within these facilities and may have AA, BA or MA level degrees. Many are also Certified Peer Counselors.
Case Management staff usually have AA or BA level degrees (although might also have MA degrees), and have considerable expertise in community resources. Case managers help people solve problems and provide assistance in accessing community resources. Also, case managers may go out into the community with clients, to assist in skill development, such as learning to take the bus or shopping for groceries.
The majority of outpatient clinical staff at Greater Lakes are therapists. Therapists bring both case management and psychotherapy skills to their interactions with clients, drawing upon those skills sets that are needed at the time. Most therapists have either BA or MA level degrees and many are Mental Health Professionals as well.
Mental Health Professionals
Mental Health Professionals (MHP’s) are those clinicians who have achieved a Master’s degree plus a minimum of 2 years post-Masters, supervised experience. MHPs are able to conduct intake assessments and supervise clinical services and documentation. MHPs usually also carry their own caseloads of clients that they provide services to. MHPs work in outpatient services, residential treatment facilities and our inpatient facility. Licensed MHPs within Greater Lakes provide intern supervision and also licensure candidate supervision to clinical staff who are pursuing licensure.
Greater Lakes employs both Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs), and these nurses work in all of our facilities – outpatient, residential and inpatient. Nurses help clients with a variety of health care and medication related issues, and support the prescribing staff of ARNPs and Psychiatrists.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNP’s)
ARNPs provide the vast majority of psychiatric assessment, prescription services and medication management at Greater Lakes. ARNPs are able to prescribe any class of medication that physicians are able to prescribe, but like physicians at Greater Lakes, they only prescribe within their scope of practice. This means that ARNPs prescribe medications for mental health issues, but not generally for physical health issues.
Greater Lakes reserves psychiatrist time for those clients with more complicated psychiatric and physical conditions. In some cases, psychiatric medications might interact with physical healthcare meds and psychiatrists are in an ideal position to manage those broader medication and health care issues.