(Chuck Muth) – Apparently the employees at UNLV’s “Marriage and Family Therapy” (MFT) department got the memo and power point presentation about emailing state legislators with sob stories about budget cuts.
OK, first, show of hands: How many of you, when you think about higher education, think of “marriage and family therapy” as opposed to engineering, medical school, law school, nuclear physics or economics?
It’s a non-essential program which should be zeroed out. If you want to major in “marriage and family therapy,” go to a private school, not our taxpayer-funded school. And if you need “marriage and family therapy,” go see your priest, minister or rabbi. Or watch Dr. Phil.
With that out of the way, let’s check the ol’ email-bag and see what the employees and students at UNLV’s “Marriage and Family Therapy” department think about budget cuts. And for brevity’s sake, we’ll just pull some blurbs this time rather than republishing the entire “woe is me” rants as we’ve done in the past.
Brianna Kolhoss, bless her little heart, wrote:
“I am a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the Marriage and Family Therapy Department. I have wanted to be a therapist since I was a little girl and am beyond thrilled that I get to live my dream. . . . Please think of me and the other students you are harming when you continue to cut programs like mine.”
Wanted to be a therapist rather than a princess since she was a little girl? Imagine what THAT Halloween costume looked like. (I’m sorry; was that sexist?)
Ebony Igeleke writes:
“Nevada ranks near the top of the nation with mental health problems such as divorce, yet ranks lowest in funding for mental health. Even those who seek and can afford these services may not be able to find help due to the mental health crisis that is universally accepted as a fact in our state.”
Much like the global warming clucks, Igeleke asserts a “universally accepted fact” that isn’t universally accepted at all. We here in Nevada are suffering an economic crisis, a budget crisis, and an employment crisis – but we are decidedly not suffering a mental health crisis.
What we really have here is a crisis of people blaming somebody else for their own bad choices in life and looking for sympathy instead of getting off their butts and doing something to make their life better.
“Studies have shown a strong link between therapy and a decrease in absenteeism rates and improvements in performance at work. In a right-to-work state, attendance at jobs can be critically important.”
Ah-hah. So we need mental therapy in Nevada because workers aren’t required to join a union in order to get a job? Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And does this mean that in states with forced unionism that showing up for work every day is NOT critically important?
Severely spelling-challenged student Laura Card writes:
“Personally, I moved to Las Vegas just this summer from Canada. I researched Graduate programs in the United States and found that UNLV best fit my needs and it has exceeded my expectations in training, education and experince. I have chnaged my entire life to enter this Master’s program knowing this is where I should be and ganing the best possible education I can. I have gone into debt and sacrificed my time and energy into this program with the goal of finishing it. It would be extrememtly disappointing to find out that I have changed my entire life for nothing. A whole year of my life I cannot get back.”
A whole year, huh? Yeah, that IS tragic. Especially when you’re the ripe old age of 20-something.
But you know, it sounds to me like the best lesson young Laura could learn from this experience is that life is FULL of disappointments. Get used to it. Accept it. Learn how to overcome it. And move on.
Or get some therapy.
But enough from MFT students. Let’s get to the real whining and bellyaching from taxpayer-funded MFT employees.
Richard N. Blair, Jr., Departmental Administrative Assistant, Assistant to Chair, Dr. Gerald Weeks, Department of Marriage and Family Therapy at the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs (yeah, THAT’S an essential position!) writes (using his taxpayer-funded Richard.Blair@unlv.edu email account):
“Presently I think what is most disturbing to me and need to be brought to your attention as well as the Governor’s is how these budget cuts are effecting the people of Nevada as a whole as well as me and others like me as individuals. I do think that they find easy solutions without thinking about the powerful damaging effect it has on those effected. Here are the stories I hear, although second hand of course and therefore may or may not be true, residents do hear them and wonder what are many of you thinking.”
Geez, Louise! “Effecting” the people? Those “effected”? This grammatically-challenged clap-trap was written by an employee at a school of HIGHER EDUCATION?
And here, let me share with you some stories which I admit up front may not be true. But, please, pretend they are, OK? Like this one:
“People getting cut from jobs or getting temporary cuts in salary in the educational area that are living in their cars, on the campus and not eating or affording medications because of this cuts and asking for us to do it again.”
Because of one-day-a-month furloughs, UNLV employees are living in their cars and not eating? Gotta call you on this one, Ricky. Name….one.
Mr. Blair continues:
“(T)he state still raises the cost retirement and health benefits, not taking in consideration also that the cost of parking in the educational area, UNLV in particular is outrageous. How can you continuously ask the lowest paid employees to continue to take temporary pay cuts and still be able to survive paying their mortgage, their car payment, utilities, and to eat! I’m a single person and I even have a medical condition that requires monthly medications, how can I continue to survive without loosing my home and my health, etc.?”
Please, PLEASE, make him stop! My head’s gonna explode.
“In regards to the departments like Marriage and Family Therapy when houses the Clinic that offers programs to get counseling out there to the community and producing future therapists for the country, once again the importance of small programs like this shows that you can’t afford to hurt these programs, like this one, the future of this country in its growth as a nation depends on it.”
I can’t take it anymore. I beg you; waterboard me instead!
OK, let’s move on, shall we?
Markie Blumer, Assistant Professor at the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, wrote using her taxpayer-funded email account [firstname.lastname@example.org]:
“Mental health is just as important as medicine, dentistry, or nursing and needs to be equally valued. . . . Both our research and clinical work focuses on two very real issues in the state of Nevada presently – the effect of and coping with unemployment in families and ways to encourage ecological practices to promote family sustainability and harmony now and in the future.”
Encourage ecological practices to promote family sustainability and harmony? Can we bring Rick Blair back?!!
Here’s the thing, folks. Every bureaucrat and government employee of every program of every department of every agency at every level of government can rationalize and “make a case” for their existence and ongoing funding. The problem is that many aren’t programs the government should be involved with in the first place and/or just aren’t priorities.
They need to be cut. Period.
Across the board cuts are wrong and the easy way out. Some programs are high priorities and legitimate government functions and funding needs to be retained for them. Others, such as the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, simply aren’t.
And people who think taxpayers are bottomless pits of cash who should have their taxes raised for such non-essential programs, especially in this economy, ought to see a qualified mental health therapist and have their head examined.