MENAHSA, Wis. (WFRV) – As kids head back to school one local group is making sure they are mentally ready to learn.
The Samaritan Counseling Center is gearing up to offer free mental health screenings to more than 12,000 local students.
“There is no health without mental health” says Rosangela Berbert, Executive Director at The Samaritan Counseling Center.
For nearly 50 years the center has provided professional counseling that connects mind and spirit. “We are open to the whole community. About 40 percent of our clientele comes with a low income” Berbert explains.
To cover their costs, The Samaritan Counseling Center has hosted the Fox Valley Ethics in Business Summit each October since 2015. It is their primary fundraiser.
Business leaders look forward to the event, to improve their company culture. “Our employees really are our business. Without them we can not do it. So we really need to have a focus on their experience and really the customer experience is paced by the employee experience. If we create a great culture, that is going to mean high performing employees and that allows us to give back to the community. says Greg Vandenberg, Director of Community Engagement for US Venture.
Money raised also funds the Connected Community Wellness Screen, a youth suicide prevention program.
This year ten districts will have access to the assessment. It is a simple way for students to ask for help. “They might realized but they did not know how to ask for it or communicate their needs to the adults in their lives” Berbert says.
In addition to the student screenings, The Samaritan Counseling Center provides therapy services to more than one thousand people each year from offices in Kaukauna, Menasha, New London and Oshkosh, and on campus at UW-Fox Valley.
“The primary difference to our agency is that we integrate the individuals spirituality in their counseling process” Berbert explains.
It is a service that is needed more than ever in the valley. Berbert says there is a shortage of mental health providers in the region.
When people are struggling it impacts not only home life, but work as well. “Mental health impacts productivity in the workplace much more than physical health” she says.
They hope the upcoming Ethics in Business Summit will open the door to conversations about mental health. According to Berbert business leaders will be “helping people to find satisfaction in their work”. She says “overall the family does better, the whole community does better. It is transformation through conversation”.
To register for the summit or find our more about services offered through the Samaritan Counseling Center click here: http://samaritan-counseling.com/