Counseling Associates, Inc. has been making a difference and providing mental wellness and health in Clinton for the past three years. They were originally incorporated as a non-profit Community Mental Health Center in 1972 to meet the mental health needs of citizens in Johnson, Pope, Yell, Conway, Perry, and Faulkner counties. All of their services are outpatient in nature and are intended to promote recovery in the least restrictive setting possible. Over the years, their mission has expanded to include the treatment of substance abuse and they now offer a full continuum of care for children, adolescents, and adults who experience a mental health and/or substance use disorder.
Effective September 1, 2018, Counseling Associates expanded their service area to Van Buren, Searcy, Stone, and Cleburne counties by contracting with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to act as the Community Mental Health Center (CHMC) in these areas. This means that Counseling Associates is the single-point-of-entry to the public mental health system in these counties and partners with a wide variety of community stakeholders (law enforcement, jails, schools, etc.) to promote local access to high quality behavioral healthcare treatment.
CMHCs were created in the late 1960s across the state of Arkansas in an effort to institutionalize individuals with chronic mental illness and integrate them back into their respective communities. Counseling Associates in Clinton provides mental health access for children and adults in the form of diagnostic assessment, individual therapy, family therapy, medication management, substance abuse services, and community based supportive services. There are a couple aspects of our spectrum of services that set them apart from other mental health providers: with access to grant funding that allows them to provide outpatient mental health services to those individuals without insurance, and they also provide 24/7 crisis assessment to jails, ERs, and individuals in the community.
Research now indicates that 1 in 5 people will experience a diagnosable behavioral health condition in any given year and behavioral health disorders are the leading cause of worker disability in the United States. It is also known that treatment works and is effective in alleviating the symptoms associated with behavioral health disorders. Counseling Associates is excited about to keep bringing awareness to the Clinton community and surrounding areas making high quality, cost effective treatment available close to home.
Maureen Ryan-McGehee, L.P.E.-I. leads the efforts for our Clinton Location. Maureen grew up in Iowa, making her way to Arkansas after high school to attend Hendrix College. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and eventually completed her master’s degree at UCA in Counseling Psychology. She began serving Clinton and surrounding areas in 2009 as a therapist intern and was hired by Health Resources of Arkansas in 2010 after graduating from UCA. Over the past 9 years she has developed an immense passion for serving children and adults in this rural area where access to mental health services is sparse, focusing her specialty services in the areas of trauma and attachment issues. In 2018, HRA planned to transition to a private mental health agency, and she was adamant about remaining in community mental health. She felt called to continue her vocation with Counseling Associates as soon as they announced their plans to open in Clinton. She continues to provide assessment and therapy services to the citizens of Van Buren County as well as supervise clinical operations at the CA locations in Clinton and Marshall. When Maureen is not at work she enjoys traveling, music festivals, and spending my summers on Greers Ferry Lake.
Counseling Associates has historically been very active in the communities they serve. They are part of the Multidisciplinary Team, which reviews current child maltreatment investigations and provides recommendations for care and safety. They also work closely with our community stakeholders and are looking forward to providing training on mental health issues for the local jail and primary care physicians. One volunteer project currently being developed is the creation of a Mental Health Coalition, a team comprised of members of the community meeting quarterly to identify needs, improve communication, and build mental health awareness and service programs in the area.
Counseling Associates are located in the Doctor’s Building in front of Ozark Health Medical Center in suite 201 and you can reach them at 501-745-8007 for more information.