New Psychology Fellowship Focuses on Mental Health in Rural Maine

Lindsey Lagerstrom of Presque Isle will serve as the inaguaral Glickman Fellow in Clinical Psychology

The Department of Psychology at the University of Maine is pleased to announce the establishment of the Glickman Fellowship in Clinical Psychology, made possible by a major gift from the Albert B. Glickman Family Foundation, with additional support from the University of Maine Graduate School. Developed in recognition of the fact that the health and wellbeing of residents in Maine depends on the availability of trained mental health providers, and designed to help meet the increasing demand for high quality mental health providers in Maine by recruiting and funding students specifically from Maine, the Glickman Fellowship will fully fund one doctoral student from the State of Maine per year for the next five years.

Lindsey Lagerstrom of Presque Isle, Maine, will serve as the inaugural Glickman Fellow. Lagerstrom, who holds a BA in psychology from the University of Maine and who worked in outpatient mental health and substance abuse in Aroostook County during her undergraduate studies, will begin her PhD in Fall 2020, focusing on the field of neuropsychology.

Emily Haigh, Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology, explains that according to the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, multiple counties in Maine are federally designated as having mental health provider shortages. “Because best practice recommendations for increasing access to health care in rural areas suggest recruiting students with a rural background, the Glickman Fellowship was set up specifically to recruit students from Maine and provide them with training to ensure they will be leaders in mental health.”

As part of the program, the Glickman Fellow will be exposed to generalist training curricula, conduct mentored research and receive supervision and training in evidence-based practice, gaining exposure to a variety of rural community training experiences at UMaine’s on-campus clinic and at external sites across the state such as forensic assessments (Department of Corrections), behavioral health interventions in primary care settings (Maine General Hospital), school assessments (RSU 63), neuropsychological assessments (Acadia and Northern Light Medical Center), and assessment and intervention for inpatients (Riverview Psychiatric Hospital).

While the overarching goal is to increase the number of high quality providers by targeting students from Maine, the Glickman Fellowship is also designed to increase access to evidence-based mental health in Maine by allowing the fellow to dedicate double the number of clinical hours in the community, including training other mental health providers in empirically-supported treatments.

Raised on her family’s potato farm, inaugural Glickman Fellow Lindsey Lagerstrom says that her interest in psychology emerged in high school, when she became interested in understanding the human mind–an interest compounded by the influence of her mother and grandfather, who were clinical social workers and who instilled in Lagerstrom, she explains, “a passion for helping and healing.”

About her goals, Lagerstrom says, “While working in the field, the gap in mental health care services, specifically psychological assessment, in my home community became more apparent to me. As both of my parents have strong roots in Aroostook County, and being raised there myself, one of my longstanding career goals is to return to Presque Isle to address a disparity in psychological care through the insight of neuropsychological assessment.”

Lagerstrom’s undergraduate research, for which she received the competitive UMaine Center for Undergraduate Research Fellowship award, is indicative of her commitment: for her Senior Research Project, she conducted a survey about telehealth practices among mental health professionals in Maine, a source of helpful information about the availability of these services in the state.

Fayeza Ahmed, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, who has worked closely with Lagerstrom for the past four years, describes Lagerstrom as dedicated, a hard worker, and possessing an aptitude for critical thinking. “Even as an undergraduate, Lagerstrom was trusted to do many tasks in my lab: recruitment, data entry, data analysis, lab management, and training of new undergraduate research assistants.” But, Ahmed adds, Lagerstrom is also “polite, friendly, and humble,” characteristics that Ahmed says are hard to teach and make her an excellent student and lab member.