Mental health facilities working to help people during the winter season

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Due to the growing focus on mental health because of COVID-19, Springfield counseling agencies are saying they are working to keep their doors open to help people during the pandemic.

The Bobby and Betty Allison Ozarks Counseling Center tries to get patients in as quickly as possible.

“Typically, we try to get everyone in within a week,” said Andera Bishop, executive director of Allison Ozarks Counseling Center. “Sometimes we can do that. Sometimes it’s two, or even three weeks out.”

The center offers services on a sliding fee scale based on household income and the number of people in a home.

“We don’t turn anyone away for inability to pay,” said Bishop. “It’s our mission to make sure that mental health services are accessible.”

People who might be willing to spend some more money can do Acceptance Counseling Associates (ACA), which doesn’t accept insurance.

“Our prices range from about 65 to 95 an hour on a sliding scale,” said Doug Gragson, with the ACA. “We don’t want money to be a barrier to people seeking help. But we do have to make a living.”

McGuire Christian Counseling tries to get its patients in within the same week.

“We have an intern from Evangel who’s free,” said Aaron McGuire, a licensed professional counselor at McGuire Christian Counseling. “We take Medicare. Medicaid. We also take most insurance companies. We have out of pocket.”

Gragson says people should call two to three weeks in advance to schedule an appointment.

The ACA does make certain accommodations when it comes to payments.

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