LSU Counselor Education Graduate becomes LSU Director of Mental Health

November 8, 2021

BATON ROUGE, LA - Raime Thibodeaux, MA, LPC-S, NCC, served as Associate Director of Mental Health for LSU starting in the Spring of 2020. When the former director vacated the position to pursue other interests, Thibodeaux decided to take a leap of faith and apply to become the new Director of Mental Health in the LSU Student Health Center. After an intensive interview process, Thibodeaux became the first ever Licensed Professional Counselor to hold the position of LSU Director of Mental Health. Thibodeaux earned her BA in psychology from LSU and went on to attend the LSU’s counselor education program where she earned her MA in counseling. She worked as a counselor and mental health director at higher-education institutions across Louisiana for 14 years before “coming home” to LSU.

As a first-generation college graduate, Thibodeaux was drawn to working with the college-aged population very early on in her graduate school journey. When asked why she loves working with this population, Thibodeaux said, “College students are going through immense transitional times. They’re developing their identity and figuring out their own values. This is an amazing time in student’s lives, but it can also be a very difficult one. I remember how challenging and transformative the college experience was for me and so working with this population is one way of me paying it forward.”

Thibodeaux currently leads LSU Mental Health with confidence and grace; she also works to ensure there continues to be a steady pipeline of counseling interns at the center. Thibodeaux says, “I think the presence of Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) has grown at LSU Mental Health because when we first started being able to intern here around 10 years ago, we were doing really good work. The counseling interns illuminated the fact that our professional discipline could be hired here and be an asset to the interdisciplinary team.” Of course, there are other disciplines actively working at the center as well. The LSU Mental Health team is currently staffed by psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed professional counselors, and clinical social workers. Thibodeaux says, “It’s wonderful to be in a place where the different disciplines [counseling, social work, psychology, psychiatry] can work together. We all bring a unique sense of understanding and skill to the table.”

Thibodeaux and her team want to increase access and decrease wait time at LSU Mental Health. Thibodeaux stated that a goal for the future would be building up staffing appropriately to match the high demand the center is seeing. There’s high demand and hard work, but Thibodeaux is passionate about the profession. She says, “It’s such an honor and a privilege to have a job where people come to you in pain or struggling. They’re vulnerable with you about things they don’t talk to anyone else about. It’s up to you, as a counselor, to accept that vulnerability with all the respect and reverence it deserves.” 

Learn more about LSU Mental Health Services

Learn more about LSU Counseling Program