Updated: Sep 13
She came into the office in the grips of a full-blown panic attack. She did not have an appointment, and her clinician of record was not in the building. Seeing the state the young woman was in, another therapist walked into the lobby and asked how she might assist her. The therapist learned that the client wanted to be in a safe place, a place where she might find peace and rest for her soul. The clinician stepped away and consulted with a peer; and, together they helped the young woman become grounded and at ease.
After a few minutes, the clinician who had first greeted the client asked if she would like to pay. The client grabbed hold of the therapist and wept as the CareNet Counseling East (CNCE) staff member asked that the Comforter enfold her and give her peace. After the “Amen” was said, the young woman said, “That’s all I have wanted for three weeks.” She continued to chat with the clinician, and sat in the lobby until ready to leave the building. Her clinician came into the parking lot as she was leaving; they chatted, and confirmed her upcoming appointment.
This young woman is not alone. Nearly 20% of the American population experience anxiety annually (per their reports to their primary care and mental health providers), with close to 7% (that’s about 16 million American adults) having clinical depression, described by individuals as feeling “surrounded by a thick, black, unrelenting fog”; “hopeless”; having “soul sucking torture”’ and/or “heaving and tired.” When you add the close-to-9% of the population who struggle with substance abuse issues, you find that one in five American adults at any given time have a diagnosable condition. Recent events in the CNCE offices make me wonder if these statistics are actually lower than what is currently being experienced, at least in our region.
While understanding the diagnostic process and causes of mental health issues takes more space and time than we currently have, the desperation and needs present are much easier for me to convey: Daily the clinicians in our offices meet with individuals who are struggling with physical and mental health challenges, relationship concerns, and spiritual questions. Hour upon hour stories are shared by people who have prayed, read the Word, and done all they “were to do”—yet, they wanted to die. All they knew was that the darkness was thick and heavy; and, pushing through was tiring, especially when all their strength was gone. With the guidance, care, and assistance of clinicians, hope is often found on the other side of the darkness. New skills and strategies offer the means by which clients are able to find hope and healing.
CNCE is part of CareNet, Inc., a statewide network of counseling centers associated with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem. (CareNet is a division of FaithHealth, and grew out of the pastoral counseling tradition.) Clinicians are duly licensed professionals from various disciplines (clinical social workers, professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists). Some of the clinicians are ordained, others have many ministry experiences and/or are part of clergy families. If you would like to learn more about the work and ministry of CNCE, please go to www.carenetnc.org/east, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know of anyone who would benefit from the services provided, feel free to give them the office number (252.355.2801 ext. 21). All calls are confidential, and services are HIPAA-compliant.
Like countless other non-profit agencies (501[c]), CNCE relies on the contributions of the community for its very survival. Money received from clients and insurance companies provides salaries for the clinical staff. Office personnel and costs (mortgage, utilities, and other expenses) come totally from gifts. Donations can be mailed to CNCE, 108 Oakmont Drive, Greenville, NC 27858; or made via PayPal on the website.
I close asking that you pray for the work and ministry of CNCE. Remember our clients, staff, and Board of Directors. Ask God’s blessings as we strive to “Lift Spirits” and “Hold Hope,” for we know He is the “healer of those who are brokenhearted.” We are humbled to be among His instruments of healing.