The Counseling Center of Columbiana County: Who Are We?

The Center, incorporated in 1963, is a private, not-for-profit comprehensive behavioral healthcare organization (the “behavioral healthcare” indicates that we work with mental and emotional illness, substance use issues, and the dually-diagnosed – those with both mental and substance problems).

  • Our Vision: We envision the Counseling Center as the preeminent behavioral health provider in Columbiana County, positively impacting lives through elimination of stigma, promotion of mental health and addiction treatment parity, and provision of excellent, comprehensive, and integrated care.
  • Our Mission:It is our MISSION to improve the lives of individuals and families by meeting the behavioral health needs of our community. We accomplish this through:
    • Excellent Customer Service
    • Evidence-based practice
    • Continuous performance improvement, and
    • Recovery-focused care that is comprehensive, effective, and affordable.


For Fiscal Year 2019, we have approximately 140 employees (120 full-time equivalents) and a $7.7 million dollar budget. In Fiscal Year 2018, we saw 2,152 new admissions, serving 5,018 clients (4,396 clients with mental health issues and 622 with substance use disorders. We provided 3,868 clients with psychiatric services and served 1,298 youth. We see people of all ages, individuals, families, and groups; we provide 24-7 crisis response services for all of Columbiana County. We work with around 700 adults with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) and 400 youth who are Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED). Our youth services include intensive home-based, early childhood, and school-based care. Increasingly, our youth providers see younger clients. Our case managers have caseloads of approximately 35 clients each and our therapists each have caseloads of about 150. Annually, we subsidize the housing of approximately 100 families and individuals and assist 200 to 225 people concerning their vocational needs.

We serve all of Columbiana County. We have three sites: Salem, Lisbon, and East Liverpool. We are also in the Juvenile Justice Center in downtown Lisbon. We have a 6 bed, homeless shelter facility on our main campus, called the Kendall House, staffed 24/7, housing homeless urgent care adult clients; our Hand-in-Hand House allows us to provide housing to four formerly homeless mental health clients in the community; we own four other scattered-site apartment duplexes and another one bedroom house across Columbiana County and we own Apple Grove Homes I and II, three 10-unit townhouse apartments in Lisbon. We are in the schools and jails, serving clients. We work with all the local social service agencies, law enforcement, and the courts. We provide services for a number of groups, serving individuals, parents, teachers, and families with support, mentoring, education, and provide an intensive outpatient program (IOP) as an alternative to hospitalization for a number of individuals suffering from a chemical dependency. We have affiliation agreements with Columbiana County Community Action Agency, Family Recovery Center, and the Lisbon office of Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron. We have a contract with the Columbiana County Job and Family Services, a number of schools throughout Columbiana County, and the Columbiana County Jail.

We work with the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services (MHRS) Board as a gatekeeper for psychiatric hospitalizations for the county. The Board maintains contracts with several hospitals for emergency adult psychiatric beds, including the State Psychiatric Hospital (Heartland Behavioral Health), Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, Turning Point Crisis Stabilization, Akron General Hospital, St. Thomas Hospital and The Crisis Intervention and Recovery Center in Canton. The Board contracts with Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic and Trinity Hospital for adult detoxification. We also use Belmont Pines in Youngstown (youth) and Akron Children’s Hospital (youth), as needed.

Our clinical staff consist of:

  • 1 psychiatrist
  • 3 advanced practice nurses
  • 3 nurses
  • 2 psychologists
  • 15 mental health therapists
  • 4 Families Together therapists
  • 4 SUD therapists
  • 4 Parent Project providers
  • 2 Early Childhood consultants
  • 13 adult community support providers
  • 12 youth community support providers
  • 2 IDDT (mental health/chemical dependency) community support providers
  • 6 After-Hours Crisis workers and 3 Crisis workers during regular hours
  • 6 vocational specialists
  • 6 residential workers, working at our Kendall House
  • 4 counseling/psychology/social work interns, and
  • 2 Payeeship specialists
  • 3 Recovery Coaches


Three years ago, the vast majority of our funding came through a contract that we had with the local Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services (MHRS) Board. While we continue to receive funding for non-Medicaid services through this Board, the percentage of our budget that we receive is considerably less and the amount funded by Medicaid has increased by 15-20%.

  • 65% comes from Medicaid;
  • 10% comes from MHRS Board and Title XX (indigent funding);
  • 15% from local levies; and;
  • 10% from private insurance, Medicare, client fees (self-pay, co-pays and deductibles) and local, state and federal grants.


Most of the clients we see are indigent. We have a subsidized fee scale that is based on a client’s ability to pay. Generally, the County Board provides the difference between what the client pays and what the agency’s contract rate is. So, for instance, if a client is asked to pay 10% per hour/visit with a therapist, and our contract rate is $90/hour, the Board picks up 90%. Our contract with the County has to be earned in the sense that we collect money from all third party payers, including Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, and self-pay prior to billing the Mental Health Board. These services are billed weekly on a per client basis. In that transportation is often an obstacle for a number of our clients, we offer a free van service to appointments at our sites.

We have grants from the Columbiana County Job and Family Services, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

We pride ourselves on offering many evidence-based services. We have received national and state recognition for our programs. Our PATH Homeless Outreach program was the model for the State of Ohio, being the first to have people in Recovery doing the outreach. Our Multisystemic Therapy (MST) program is one of only 15 certified in the State and a couple of years ago, was chosen as one of only 4 in the country as having the best outcomes and seen as a model program. HBO was considering doing a documentary with our program being considered. Our Supported Employment Program, also evidence-based, was the 2014 recipient of the Champion Award from the Center for Evidence Based Practice, Case Western Reserve University. This is a national award, presented to one recipient out of 67 agencies in 23 states.

We are certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and we are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). We receive an independent audit and a Non-Medicaid services review on an annual basis. In the past, rules from the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Circular A-133 have applied to our funding, but in recent years, we do not meet the threshold in federal dollars to necessarily qualify.

Over the past recent years, we have successfully completed the following housing construction projects:

  • An award of over $76,000 from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) to rehabilitate three of our nine HUD/McKinney apartments;
  • A grant of $235,800, also from OHFA, to remodel two duplexes (four units) in Salem and East Liverpool that does not include the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) award the Center received in 2013 for the East Liverpool site;
  • An award for $181,005 to repair the Kendall Home through the Capital Funding to End Homelessness Initiative. This project was completed in December, 2015;
  • Three separate grants from Ohio MHAS, OHFA, and FHLB of Cincinnati totaling $1.2 million to build an eight-unit new construction apartment complex, the Hornsby House, in Lisbon and a new construction duplex in East Liverpool. The Grand Opening took place on June 21, 2016.


Other recent accomplishments include:

  • 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;
  • In July, 2017, we relocated our Salem office a block northeast to 166 1/2 Vine Avenue. We purchased the building from Drs. Getzinger and Ryhal of Family Health Care of Columbiana County, who remain on the upper level. We completely renovated the lower level to allow us to provide expanded services to the Salem community. In addition to individual, couples, and family counseling, we are providing expanded psychiatric services, alcohol and drug counseling, and group counseling. Moreover, at the new location, we have considerably greater office space and parking.
  • Opened a new satellite office in Calcutta on Pineview Drive, near Bruster’s;
  • Increased capacity for youth psychiatry through the addition of two Psychiatric Family Nurse Practitioners; and
  • Established medication assisted treatment for opiate addiction and alcohol dependency, using Vivitrol, a non-addictive injectable medication.


New Programs:

  • “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.
  • 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.