Psychology

Food for thought, auto show raises money for George Mason Center

Food for thought, auto show raises money for George Mason Center
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FAIRFAX CITY, VA — George Mason Center for Psychological Services is hosting its sixth annual Food for Thought fundraising event on Oct. 3 to help pay for the many services it provides to the Northern Virginia community.

“We are the premier training clinic for the doctoral students in clinical psychology and we serve the community,” said Prof. Robyn Mehlenbeck, the center’s director. ‘We are not the university guidance centre. It’s not for the Mason students. They have their own guidance centre.’

CPS offers a variety of personal psychological services, including traditional therapy and testing, in an office building at 10340 Democracy Lane in Fairfax City.

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“We do a lot of testing for children for learning disabilities, ADHD and then psychosocial because the schools really appreciate our reports and will actually follow the recommendations we send out,” Mehlenbeck said.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CPS has opened an Emotional Support Line, where people can find help, in both English and Spanish, by calling 703-215-1898 from 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM, seven days a week.

“It’s not a therapy service, it’s support,” Mehlenbeck said. “But for those who need more than that, we offer what we call our short three-session skills intervention. That’s also open to people in the community at a very low cost.”

A single session costs $25 or $75 if all three sessions are needed. According to Mehlenbeck, residents of Prince William County have free access to the sessions.

“We initially set up that program for essential workers during COVID,” she said. “Now it’s open to the whole community.” More information about all the services CPS offers is available online.

Since CPS is a non-profit organization, it relies on sponsorships and fundraisers such as Food for Thought for support. Leidos will host the October 3 event, from 6-9pm, at its headquarters at 1750 Presidents St. in Reston.

“We’ll eat a lot, drink a lot,” Mehlenbeck said. “We’ll talk about what we’re doing at the center, how we’re helping specialized populations in particular. This year we’re really focusing on veterans because we’re working a lot with veterans. We’re doing a lot of work with youth, our teens and young adults. two funds specifically for those areas, in addition to our general fund that helps all our low-income clients.”

Food for Thought will also be holding a silent auction, with items like Washington Wizards tickets and vacation getaways for people to bid on. Those unable to attend the October 3 event in person can still submit bids online.

In addition to the Leidos-sponsored event, Capital Auto Club and Ferrari of Washington will show their support for CPS on October 3 by showcasing their vehicles along Market Street in Reston from 5-8:30 p.m. The auto show is free, open to the public, and requires no registration.

The deadline to purchase tickets for the Food for Thought event at Leidos headquarters is midnight on Sunday, September 25. Information about purchasing tickets or sponsorship opportunities is available online.

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