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Alumni Profile – Mental Health Services for LGBTQ

Lucas Swenink MSW ’11 is a mental health clinican and client services coordinator at The Center on Halsted.  The Center on Halsted opened its doors in 2007 as a community center which provides mental health, legal, and victim advocacy services for men, women, seniors, youth of the LGBTQ populations.  As part of a wide range of duties, he runs the men’s group, provides psychotherapy for a caseload of 12 clients, and supervises interns.  He has worked there for 2.5 years starting after he completed his second level internship there.  A proven result of the importance of your internship and the connections you make at your field placements.

Lucas completed a BS in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin Madisonand began working in Housing Advocacy for LGBTQ youth.  After realizing it was fulfilling an important need and greatly enjoying the work he did, he began thinking about the MSW.  Before enrolling in the MSW program at Loyola, he moved to Chicago, worked in a hospital and applied for graduate school.

After researching multiple programs, he knew he wanted a clinical program located in Chicago because he wanted to utilize his social skills and combine them with a new knowledge base of clinincal expertise in working with the LGBTQ poulation.  “Curriculum wise Loyola’s program really stood out,” Lucas stated.

Throughout his time at Loyola, Lucas drew on the expertise of Professor Lynn Boyle and Professor Philip Hong in thier teaching and mentorship careerwise.  He added substance abuse counseling as an interest area and is looking to further his career in research in the future.

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