IDABEL, Okla. – The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) officially opened the doors of the Wind Horse Family Counseling Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012.
The center, located at 1303 Lynn Lane in Idabel, near the Idabel Children’s Clinic, will provide drug and alcohol counseling, as well as mental health help in areas such as grief counseling, depression and anxiety.
Any CDIB cardholder will be able to receive help with any one of these disorders from qualified mental health professionals. Lisa Meredith, who heads operations at the center, has over 20 years of experience in the field of mental health. Her associate, M. Jane Wilson, has also had extensive experience in the field and both are ready to make an impact in the Idabel area.
As the ribbon was cut and doors opened on the facility, new possibilities to aid the people of McCurtain County were realized. We really want to expand our counseling opportunities and incorporate many types of counseling services, said Wilson as she explained her hopes for the impact of the center. “We are always looking to improve our services and expand,” followed Meredith.
The center will be open to appointments, walk-ins, and emergency calls when needed. In cases of emergency, anyone seeking help will need to call the hospital, which will dispatch to the on-call worker.
Based on the assessed need of the area, Meredith expects to see between 50 and 100 patients per week. A receptionist will aid Meredith and Wilson with the flow of patients. Plans to add a third member to the counseling team are in effect as well.
A facility such as this has been a goal of District 1 Tribal Councilman Thomas Williston for some time. During his 25-year law enforcement career in McCurtain County, Williston has seen much heartache associated with alcohol and substance abuse.
With the high rate of substance abuse in the area, many individuals feel the direct and indirect effects. Children, spouses, family and friends all suffer mentally, and sometimes physically, when someone they care for becomes involved in these types of activities.
Idabel’s Assistant Chief of Police John Martin describes the mental state of substance abusers as a cycle. Once they get involved, it is hard to break that streak. “We are hoping this is an intervention that will get them out of that system,” stated Martin.
It is the hope of all involved in this effort, that the resources and aid provided by the facility will give those who feel they are trapped by addictions or mental ailments, the power to pull themselves out of their rut and break the cycle.
“We want to be there to give a hand to people,” said Assistant Chief Gary Batton as he gave his remarks before the ribbon was cut.
The Wind Horse Family Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m. If you would like to make an appointment of find out more about services provided, please call 580-286-7025.