COLUMBIA, Md.—At its recent “Day of Hope” gala, CentrePointe Counseling celebrated a significant milestone—40 years as a counseling agency, providing Christ-centered professional counseling services in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia to men, women, adolescents and children.
One of those who benefited from previous counseling services is Kaely Linker, who now serves as digital media coordinator for CentrePointe Counseling.
Though she grew up in a Christian home with a wonderful support network and later had a patient husband, she found her untreated anxiety disorder had progressed to suicidal ideation.
“I found myself unable to get out of bed, wondering if my infant daughter and little boys would be better off without a mother or with a new mother than with one who’s anxiety drove her to anger and depression leaving little left to care for them,” Linker said at the gala, which featured a brunch, silent auction, keynote speaker Stacey Stone from WGTS 91.9, and live worship music by Jason Brown.
During her testimony, Linker offered a word picture, “When you drop a pebble into the center of a pond the resulting change in the water is felt all the way to the edges of that pond.”
She explained, “Even at the very edges a change is made in the surface of the water because of that pebble. At CentrePointe, our mission is to create a ripple effect of change in every individual couple, family, church, organization and community throughout the state.”
At its foundation, CentrePointe knows the effect of this healing and freedom is not just felt by the individual but by their spouse, their family, their church, and throughout our community, she said.
Linker asked gala guests to imagine being in crisis and unsure where to turn.
“Maybe you feel frightened. Maybe you feel ashamed to ask for help,” she said, asking them to then imagine “gathering all your courage to ask for that help and make that phone call just to be turned away.”
Long waiting lists, difficulty with insurance, unaffordable session fees. Unfortunately, these are just some of the obstacles those in crisis face when looking for a mental health provider, she said.
“By giving to the work at CentrePointe, you are creating a literal lifeline to someone in need: a woman mourning the loss of a loved one, a pastor who can’t wrestle with a childhood trauma alone anymore, a couple who wants to heal and save their marriage, a mother and child who suffered abuse, a man whose struggle with mental health has left him isolated and afraid,” and then pointing to herself, “a woman crying under her comforter hoping her children and husband don’t hear because she has become afraid of even the thoughts in her own head.”
She stressed, “The pebble that was dropped into my life didn’t just make a difference for me, but for everyone I love and who loves me in return for generations.”
To that end, CentrePointe Counseling’s staff and board remain committed to helping “the least, the last and the lost” by providing affordable Christ-centered professional counseling to all in need regardless of their ability to pay. Accordingly, CentrePointe is one of the few agencies that accepts insurance and offers sliding scale rates and scholarships, flexible appointment hours and conveniently accessible sites at over 25 locations throughout Maryland and Virginia.
These offices are in churches and denominational buildings where the space is very generously donated, shared Kim Cook, CentrePointe’s executive director.
CentrePointe Counseling is committed to serving all in need of care, regardless of their ability to pay, Cook stressed.
Noting it is really hard to show the work they do, because it is a very private work, Cook shared photos of the various offices, explaining, “We find ourselves sitting in these spaces trying to overcome the obstacles brought on by the stigmas of mental illness, economic barriers, and deeply entrenched hurt and sorrow.”
She added, “We’re really privileged to have the opportunity to impact the lives of so many each year.”
In 2017, counselors provided over 10,000 hours of services to clients of all ages and backgrounds from the Mid-Atlantic region. To do this, the agency raising funds to offer subsidized scholarships and reduced fees to clients through generous donors and special events, such as the Day of Hope gala held on April 14, 2018.
CentrePointe also seeks to partner with churches of all denominations to provide this confidential and trusted support through its Church Partnership Plan for churches that wish to participate and offer this service to their congregation members. The plan offers vouchers, priority access to services and other benefits. This program is sustained through financial contributions from churches throughout Maryland and Virginia.
In other CentrePointe news, Cook announced the retirement of Tom Rodgerson from consultant work with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware churches. An assistant professor in the pastoral counseling department of Loyola University, Maryland, where he is the director of the master of arts program in spiritual and pastoral care, Rodgerson has worked primarily with clergy and served as the clergy and congregational care coordinator for CentrePointe through a contract with the BCM/D.
Rodgerson will still be available for as a CentrePointe staff counselor accepting new clients on a limited basis. As always, BCM/D continues to subsidize and promote the Ministers Counseling Service to ministers and their immediate family members. CentrePointe will continue to oversee this program and participants can see any counselor on CentrePointe’s staff and arrangements can be made to use the program funds to see other local Christian counselors as well. To obtain approval to utilize these funds, ministers should contact Kim Cook at (800) 491-5369, ext. 102. CentrePointe will handle the billing ensuring confidentiality of the participants.
To find out more on how you or your church can partner with CentrePointe, call Kim Cook at (800) 491-5369 x102, or visit online at www.centrepointecounseling.orgor on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CentrePointeCounseling.