Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 7, 2014

Lakes Regional opens facility

By Deanna Kirk

Corsicana — Almost everyone knows someone with a mental health issue, and now it’s much simpler to get counseling help, with or without the ability to pay.

Lakes Regional Community Center is open for business, at 800 N. Main St., Suite D, Corsicana. Located in Navarro Center, this new counseling center is one of five recently opened thanks to 1115 Medicaid Waiver funds. Along with the Corsicana location, Depression and Trauma Counseling Centers also just opened in Sulphur Springs, Mt. Pleasant, Paris and Rockwall.

Lakes Regional is not a newcomer in Corsicana, however, having opened its Substance Use Disorder clinic (also at Navarro Center) in May 2013. The new Community Center will have depression/trauma counseling, medication and mental health services, and offer counseling for marriage and family, grief and loss, anxiety, anger management, and crisis situations.

“Diagnosis as well as financial services are offered to individuals with or without the ability to pay,” said Nancy Blum, implementation coordinator. “Our counseling center will offer walk-in service appointments, which means specific times will be set aside in the work day to allow a walk-in service for individuals so they are getting services at the time of need for them, whether or not they have the ability to pay for the service.”

The intake process will be completed in the first service. There are financial assessments to help determine the payment method, and diagnoses may be made.

“People returning from serving in the military or their family members, PTSD, new mothers, people in a new marriage or going through a divorce ... In this high-energy world in which we live, anxiety is a very real issue people are dealing with,” Blum said. “People may not need long-term counseling, but triggers like a new job, a child leaving for college, a death in the family, etc., may need some short-term counseling.

“If a situation is impacting your life, it might be something to seek counseling for.”

Thanks to the 1115 Medicaid Waiver, a federal program that was established from a reallocation of funds from the Delivery Systems Reform Incentive Payment plan known as DSRIP, opening these counseling centers that are accessible to all in the community is designed, in part, to reduce the number of visits to the local Emergency Room for bipolar patients who run out of their meds, for instance.

Lakes Regional Community Center will be a resource for those who suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and need regular medications for those disorders. Sheila Clary, Lennard Lathan, Erin Jackson and Blum are the faces at the local center, along with several more still to be hired.

An open house to introduce the new center to the community was held Friday, Feb. 7. Law enforcement, probation office employees, social service agencies, and prospective clients showed up to take tours of the new facility, as well as enjoy cake and barbecue brisket.

“We are thrilled about this counseling center opening,” said Jane Biltz of the Lakes Regional board. “We have needed these services in Navarro County for a long time.”