GMU Center for Psychological Services Receives $15,000 Grant from Inova

GMU Center for Psychological Services Receives $15,000 Grant from Inova
From left: Russ Mohawk, CEO of Inova Health Plans & Population Health Services; Dr. Robyn Mehlenbeck, Director of CPS; Dr. Patty Ferssizidis, Assitant Director of CPS; and Karen Berube, AVP Population Health, Inova.

The George Mason University Center for Psychological Services (GMU CPS) received a $15,000 grant from the Inova Community Health Promotion Fund on Monday, May 2 to support treatment and testing services for high-risk, low-income clients.

“We’re very excited,” said center director Dr. Robyn Mehlenbeck. “This is brand new—only the second year they’ve administered this grant and the first year we’ve applied for it.”

Inova representatives presented Mehlenbeck as well as assistant director Dr. Patty Ferssizidis with the award at a celebratory luncheon at Inova’s administrative offices. The purpose of the grant is to improve both health and access to health services within the community, and will allow the center to continue its work providing high-quality mental health services to low-income clients. It will also allow the center to increase the number of such clients treated there in the future.

“Part of our mission is to provide affordable and accessible care,” Mehlenbeck explained after the ceremony. “We’re hoping to earn more contracts and grants, and are trying to do more fundraising to make sure that all clients, regardless of income level, are able to receive high-quality care in the community.”

The center works with people with depression, anxiety, phobias, trauma, ADHD and other concerns, and helps make recommendations if someone is tested and diagnosed with a learning disability. They offer therapy and testing services to children, teens, adults and families on a sliding-scale fee, based on family income and number of people in the family. The highest fees charged at the center for therapy and testing are approximately one-third to one-half of the fees charged by private providers.

Affiliated with Mason’s Psychology Department, CPS is the primary training center for Mason graduate students in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program. Students start working in the center earning hands-on clinical experience in their second year of the program, closely supervised by licensed psychologists. They begin taking courses in cognitive-behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapies around this time as well. All treatments the center provides are evidenced-based, meaning they have been tested in large research studies—similar to how medications are tested before the FDA approves them.

”One of the best things about being connected with the psychology department is that the services students provide here are the most cutting-edge that research says work to help clients get better,” Mehlenbeck said. “Our goal is to help children, teens, families and adults to get their lives back on track in the most efficient way possible, and for these services to be accessible and affordable for everyone.”

For more information on GMU CPS, please visit