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University of St. Thomas Launches a Healing Our Heroes Initiative

Counseling sessionUniversity of St. Thomas again demonstrates its leadership with the launch of a new, one-of-a-kind program to alleviate the long-term mental health impacts of COVID-19 on first responders, frontline health care professionals and the greater Houston community. 

This program, offering pro bono mental health counseling resources to frontline health care professionals beginning Sept. 15, has been dubbed the “Healing our Heroes Initiative” and was born out of the stories from the frontlines.

“We were hearing of first responders committing suicide, brand new nurses leaving their first shift in tears, never to return, and veteran professionals leaving the profession.” Spencer Conroy, Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs, recounted. “In addition, reports of PTSD, insomnia, nightmares, and other signs of extreme emotional and physical stress are commonplace. You don’t have to look hard to find news reports detailing in heart-wrenching specificity the types of experiences these people are facing on a daily basis with no sign of relief on the horizon.”

First-of-its-kind Clinic in Houston at a University

The clinic is conducted by the University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program counselors in training and supervised by Dr. Grant Sasse, clinic director.

UST's counseling training clinic is the first of its kind to focus on health care workers and first responders at a university in Houston.

“Counseling can be helpful for many different reasons including, but not limited to: stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, self-esteem, relationship difficulties, emotional pain and many other various struggles,” Sasse said.

The CMHC Counseling Training Clinic offers individual and group counseling services. The sessions will be provided through a HIPAA-compliant, tele-mental health video conferencing until it is safe to return to campus then face-to-face sessions will be available.

All services available are confidential and meet the Code of Ethics established by the American Counseling Association and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors.

“This is another example of the University of St. Thomas coming together with the wider community to fight back against the deadly virus’ effects using the gifts God gives us,” UST President Richard Ludwick said. “This time, it is to help heal those on the front lines and make their lives better.”

Clinic Hours and Scheduling Information

The clinic, located on the University campus at 4219 Yoakum Blvd., will open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. with some evening hours available during the week.

If the clinic’s services might be helpful to you or someone you know, please call 713-525-3879 for information or to schedule an appointment. The confidential voicemail is checked regularly, so please leave a message with a contact number and they will reach out to you right away.


The University of St. Thomas is Houston’s Catholic University. For more than 70 years, UST has graduated students into successful careers in medicine, education, business, public administration and more. As Houston grows, UST will continue to provide the strong leaders and skilled workers needed to meet those demands.