One only has to turn on the news to see the negative impact of not taking care of one’s mental health and wellness. Almost daily, we are bombarded with accounts of individuals committing such acts as homicide, suicide, and murder-suicide; and too often, after the dust clears, we learn that the perpetrator suffered from mental stress and/or illness –often committing these acts when their symptoms were not being treated.

However, one of the major barriers to accessing mental health treatment is the cost. Therefore, through its Community Counseling Initiative (CCI), Renaissance Behavioral Health Services (RBHS) is working to make a way for individuals who do not have medical insurance and those who have high patient responsibility fees (e.g., high deductibles, copays, or coinsurance) to access quality mental health counselors. Additionally, the goal is to have these sessions or patient responsibility fees covered at no cost to the client.

The Community Counselor Initiative will provide individual and group counseling sessions to community residents; and to be eligible, potential clients must demonstrate readiness for change and a commitment to the counseling process. A mental health diagnosis will not necessary for services to be rendered. Our counselors will provide traditional or Christian counseling, and brief solution-focused counseling and cognitive-behavioral counseling will be the primary theoretical orientations used. Clients will be eligible to receive up to 30 sessions of counseling within a calendar year. If at that time, the provider believes that more sessions are needed, then a request may be submitted to CCI for additional sessions. Those requests will be reviewed, and approval will depend upon the counselor’s perception of the client’s progress in treatment and the availability of funding.

At this time, CCI is engaging in fundraising and grant writing efforts to fund this project to serve the residents of our community, and we are seeking partners who are interested in contributing financially to make these services available to our community.