New space opens for mental health in the Fox Cities
MENASHA, Wis. (WBAY) - Samaritan Counseling cut the ribbon on a new center Friday morning, opening a new space for mental health help in the Fox Cities.
Samaritan was able to unveil their new center in Menasha after a year of construction thanks to community support and a handful of big donations. This new facility at 1205 Province Terrace is twice as big as the previous one, with 14 counseling offices. Samaritan also debuted a new logo.
While all of this is exciting, Samaritan says the most exciting part is knowing they’ll be able to help more people than ever before get the mental health help they need.
”We’re talking kids, families, couples, and adults, mental health concerns, substance use concerns, but also within the schools, our wellness program right now is screening and they continue to expand,” clinical director Hannah Kessler said.
Employees say the Fox Valley has come a long way in acknowledging mental health needs but say it still has a long way to go. They feel the opening of this center is proof that the Fox Valley is listening to the needs of the people there as the demand for more mental health services has grown immensely over the last few years.
“It’s everywhere, and that’s why we are here. And that’s why we started this campaign to make room -- not only physical room but services room -- to talk about the important mental health issues,” executive director Rosangela Berbert said.
Samaritan hopes with this new space it can reach people who struggled to get appointments before.
“Even before the building was ready we were growing our capacity to serve. And now lo and behold, after two-plus years of the pandemic we need every bit of space we have,” said Berbert.
According to an American Psychological Association study, one-third of adults say they are so stressed that basic decision-making, such as deciding what to eat or what to wear, has become more difficult.
Keesler says those feelings aren’t uncommon in our community. She sees people of all ages struggling day-to-day.
“Our families, our neighbors, our colleagues, the people we’re right next to are facing these things that we might not even be aware of,” Keesler said.
”Let’s use this opportunity and make more room for those conversations at the dinner table, at the workplace, anywhere. Let’s talk about it and let’s support each other and help our friends find resources in the community like we can offer,” Berbert added.
Samaritan says this new center is only possible because of some generous donors, including Mary Beth Nienhaus and Samaritan’s lead donor, Lynne Keller who pledged an additional $100,000 on ribbon-cutting day.
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