Young alumnus award winner has been devoted to mental health services
After several years of competing in a regional competition for voice students at the college and university level, Bethel senior Joshua Powell achieved first place in his final attempt.
It’s hard to think of Prairie View Mental Health Services in Newton without thinking of Bethel graduate Matthew Schmidt.
Schmidt has been working at Prairie View for most of the past 18 years. Like many Bethel students, he was a mental health worker while still in college, employed starting in 1993, his junior year, in the inpatient psychiatric unit.
Schmidt is the winner of Bethel’s 2011 Young Alumnus Award. He graduated in 1994 with a B.A. (major in psychology, minor in history) and continued at Prairie View until 1996, when he left for graduate school at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. He earned a master’s degree in social work (MSW) there in 1998.
Schmidt then returned to Prairie View as the adult team social worker on the inpatient treatment team and has been with the organization ever since.
In 2002, Schmidt became director of Community Support Services (CSS) at Prairie View, a program that “provides community based mental health services to adults in Harvey, Marion and McPherson counties experiencing severe and persistent mental illnesses,” he said. “I [give] the primary clinical and programmatic supervision to the CSS staff.”