Counseling Center Accomplishments
FISCAL YEAR 2020
…56 YEARS AND COUNTING
Our new fiscal year – 2020 – began on July 1, 2019. Having weathered software changes, new coding and billing changes from the state over the past 1 ½ years, we are approaching the new year with “20-20” vision. We have served our community since 1963…56 years and our hope is that we will continue the needed work we do for another 50. Our hope is based on continued signs of growth…
A few months ago, the Counseling Center proudly announced that the national accrediting organization, CARF International, awarded the Center a three year renewal of its accreditation. The report stated that “The Counseling Center demonstrates a high commitment to the CARF standards as a method for ensuring quality services for its clients.” The survey team stated that the Center’s strengths include “the involvement and support of the Board, teamwork, committee work, promotion of staff from within the agency, vision at the forefront, the commitment of staff, environment of care, creating positive outcomes for clients, with very positive statements from staff and clients about the service provision and the respect and teamwork that the agency fosters.”
In addition, the Counseling Center is also announcing that it is expanding the programs that it offers in several areas:
- Psychiatric Services to Youth and Adults;
- On-Site School Counseling Services;
- Prevention and Early Intervention Services to Very Young Children and Families;
- Employment Services;
- Services in the County Jail;
- Services to Participants in the East Liverpool Municipal Drug Court.
Psychiatric Services to Youth and Adults: As of June 13th, Ashleigh Noel, FNP-C, a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a focus in psychiatric medicine, joined the Counseling Center’s Psychiatric Team. Ashleigh completed her Master of Science in Nursing Degree at Saint Joseph’s College and graduated magna cum laude. She received her BSN from the University of Phoenix, ADN with Excelsior College, as well as completed education and training as a medic in the United States Army. Ashleigh specializes in the evaluation and medication management of psychiatric disorders in children, adolescents and adults. She is a member of the OAAPN and AANP. Ashleigh is “passionate about providing individualized behavioral health treatment, with the intention of offering clients the best opportunity to thrive.” Ashleigh is at the Lisbon office on Mondays and Thursdays, at the Calcutta office on Wednesdays and at Salem on Tuesdays. Please see the Counseling Center’s display ad about Ms. Noel.
In addition, as of February, Linda Boyle, FNP-BC, an ANCC Board Certified Nurse Practitioner with 27 years of psychiatric experience, having worked at the Counseling Center since 2014, expanded her hours at the Center to also include Fridays at the Salem office. With these additional hours, Linda is at the Center’s Salem office on Mondays and Fridays, Lisbon on Wednesdays and Thursdays and at the Calcutta office on Tuesdays. Seth Frampton, PMHNP, who has been with the Counseling Center for four years, recently began seeing clients at our Salem office on Wednesdays. He is at Lisbon on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Completing the Center’s Psychiatric Team is Vincent Paolone, M. D., Medical Director, with 25 years of psychiatric experience, who has been with the Counseling Center since 2007; he practices at the Lisbon office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
On-Site School Counseling Services: The Center’s On-Site School Counseling Program continues to provide services at East Palestine, Crestview, Opportunity, Leetonia, Southern Local, Lisbon, United, Wellsville and Beaver Local schools and will shortly increase the number of on-site school counselors by two.
Prevention and Early Intervention Services: The Center was awarded two Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF) Grants that will continue through 2019. The first entails working with the staff of four Head Start classrooms in East Liverpool to help engage families in managing stressors and meeting child development needs. The second, under the administration of Homes for Kids, provides services to families considered at risk for abuse and neglect with an emphasis on outreach and service delivery to single mothers and kinship caregivers. This expands the Center’s prevention services beyond the current Connections program that is in numerous school districts to help assess and prevent depression and self-harm in youth. Beginning in the fall, the Center will be expanding services to Head Start to include infants as well as toddlers and preschoolers.
Employment Services: The Counseling Center has seen a steady increase in the number of individuals it has helped secure employment, including young adults. Specifically, there was a 20% increase from 2017 to 2018, and in 2019, the Center is on track for an additional 20% increase above those served in 2018. In response, the Center is in the process of adding an additional two employment specialists to its vocational department.
Services in the County Jail: The Center is currently offering the Columbiana County Criminal Justice Behavioral Linkages Project, linking inmates at the Columbiana County Jail with substance use disorder and mental health services while incarcerated, as well as providing re-entry support after discharge from jail to support successful reintegration into society and prevent recidivism.
Services to Participants in the East Liverpool Municipal Drug Court: The Counseling Center is very involved in the newly established East Liverpool Municipal Drug Court that was launched in February. The Center’s Substance Use Department is honored to be on the Advisory Board, with two of the Center’s clinical professionals providing services to the participants. The Center is already actively engaged with the Columbiana County Municipal Drug Court in Lisbon and the Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.
The Counseling Center is very grateful to the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board for helping to fund several of the above initiatives.
During Fiscal Year 2017-2018
- New Location: In order to address the increased demand for services in the Salem area, the Counseling Center moved its Salem office in July, 2017 from 188 North Lincoln Avenue to just a block east at 166 1/2 Vine Avenue. The Counseling Center is located on a completely renovated lower level of the office building we purchased from Drs. Getzinger and Ryhal of Family Health Care of Columbiana County. With this move and expansion of office space and parking, the Center is providing expanded psychiatric services, alcohol and drug counseling, and group counseling to the Salem community. As an additional benefit, the Center invited Help Network of Northeast Ohio to offer a recovery group one afternoon a week to individuals with severe mental illness and/or substance abuse issues.
- “Whole Child Matters Early Childhood Mental Health” grant worker hired and services initiated – Alta Care group led tri-county initiative (Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana) – the purpose of providing early childhood mental health consultation to parents of young preschool aged children (birth-6) as well as providers working with the same population.
- OCTF Strategy One Award: The Center was awarded the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund Award to provide primary child abuse and neglect prevention services.
- OCTF Strategy Two Award: In collaboration with Homes For Kids/Child and Family Solutions award, the Center was awarded this Ohio Children’s Trust Fund Award to provide secondary prevention services for child abuse and neglect.
- IHBT: 2017 MST Whatever It Takes Award 2nd Quarter Nomination (includes being a nominee for the Annual MST Whatever It Takes Award that will be presented at the next MST Conference) – “this recognition is given to individuals within the MST community that have demonstrated outstanding and meritorious service… willingness to go above and beyond”
- Columbiana County Criminal Justice Behavioral Linkages Project: This project links inmates at the Columbiana County jail with substance use disorder and mental health services while incarcerated, as well as providing re-entry support after discharge from jail to support successful reintegration into society and prevent recidivism. Two full-time re-entry specialists and two part- time mental health specialists from the Center staff this program.
- Vocational: The Center’s Vocational Department partnered with the local CCMEP program to serve transitional youth in their employment endeavors. While traditional employment services and assessments were part of the original plan, staff quickly employed Evidence-Based Practice principles and changed the focus to rapid job search while completing other requirements of the program. This has led to success in our county and several youth that may have fallen through the cracks are now both employed and obtaining GED’s or secondary education.
- We celebrated a grand opening on June 21, 2016 for the Hornsby House, a new eight unit Permanent Supportive Housing Project for those with severe mental disabilities.
- CARF International awarded the Counseling Center a three year renewal of its accreditation, lasting through November, 2018, the 9th consecutive three-year accreditation received by the Center.
- We collaborated with Akron Children’s Hospital-Lisbon to initiate on-site behavioral health counseling at their Lisbon ACHP office.
- In conjunction with Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, the Counseling Center obtained a grant to expand Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation services in public and private day care and preschool settings.
- Through its Connections program, the Counseling Center provided Depression Education and/or Screening services to 488 students within 5 county school districts.
- The Center’s Onsite School Counseling program provided school-based counseling to 127 students within 7 county school districts.
- The Counseling Center was awarded an Emergency Shelter operational grant of $88,000 for a two year period (January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2017) through the Office of Community Development.
- The PATH Homeless Outreach Program made over 159 contacts to homeless persons with serious mental illness; provided 428 services to homeless persons; and made 330 referrals in an effort to link homeless persons to housing, mental health treatment, health care services, entitlement programs, income programs and employment.
- Staff made financial donations in fall, 2015 that helped provide vouchers for Christmas toys to 32 client families and 62 children and helped with a toy give-away that provided toys to 117 additional child clients, and, as a result, these families were able to celebrate Christmas last year.
In completing a Client Satisfaction Survey during this past fiscal year, several comments concerning particular programs were:
- “I love this Center. It has helped me so much. I hope to one day be able to help others. I truly believe everyone here cares about all of us. I am very grateful for this Center. I just have to say thank you for saving my life.”
- “It has helped me recognize my own strengths and weaknesses in raising the boys.”
- “Great leaders. Really helped me deal with my problems and become a more positive, sober person.”
- “Case management helps a lot. Especially with getting the extra help that is offered.”
- “The fact that your counselors genuinely care about you and your problems and don’t judge you, makes this amazing and so very helpful. I got so much out of it that I’d recommend this group to everyone. Thank you so much. This touched and changed my life so much.”
- “Being able to talk out my problems has been helpful.”
- “The fact that there is someone else advocating for the kids other than just me.”
- “Everything has been really helpful. To know I’m not alone with an illness is a good feeling. To be sober is a great feeling!! Thanks!!”
- “Thank you for having a place like this for people like us! Instead of judging they really show care and compassion and help us to better ourselves”
- “I really feel like the counselors and people who run the IOP and aftercare are wonderful people who really care about our recovery. Thank you so much.”
- “The people that I see at Mental Health are my family.”