A doctoral psychology internship program spearheaded by Bright Future Foundation has received national accreditation through the American Psychological Association (APA). This is the highest level of accreditation bestowed on doctoral psychology internship programs throughout the United States.
Bright Future initiated the Colorado Psychology Internship Program (CO-PIC) in 2014 in an attempt to address the shortage of highly qualified mental health professionals within Eagle County. Colorado is consistently amount the top ten states with the highest suicide rate nationally and rates of suicide in rural territories are consistently higher than urban counterparts.
The overarching goal of CO-PIC is to improve the recruitment and retention of highly qualified doctoral-level clinicians in rural and traditionally underserved areas of Colorado, thereby expanding access to mental health care for Colorado’s most vulnerable and underserved populations. In 2016, Bright Future’s CO-PIC intern provided trauma-focused mental health services to over 150 Eagle County Residents.
The CO-PIC program is a full-time internship position for the duration of one year and is the final requirement for students prior to receiving their doctorate in psychology. CO-PIC’s inaugural internship class began in 2015. Bright Future successfully retained the inaugural 2015/2016 intern, who currently provides behavioral health services through her private practice in Eagle County. Dr. Casey Wolfington, Bright Future Foundation’s Clinical Director, serves as the Training Director of CO-PIC and the site supervisor for Bright Future’s CO-PIC intern.
“There are currently 2,787 psychologists licensed to practice in Colorado with the vast majority of psychologists residing in or near the metropolitan Denver area,” said Wolfington. “Research suggests that behavioral health professionals are most likely to remain and work in the geographic area where they completed their clinical training. Through CO-PIC, we hope to successfully retain psychologists-in-training to provide vital mental health services to our rural community.”