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Program expands mental health and substance abuse services to rural communities in Northern NV.

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. (KOLO) – November is Men’s Mental Health and Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC), an organization that advocates for underserved individuals and communities, has expanded to help those facing mental health challenges in rural Northern Nevada.

Through a state-funded grant, they opened two certified community behavioral health clinics (Douglas and Mineral County) that provide person-centered, family-centered care, using evidence-based practices to empower individuals through accessible health care.

Woodrow Askin struggled with mental health issues and substance abuse from a young age.

“I used drugs and had depression problems,” he said.

In his journey to recovery, he found that there was a need for awareness.

“There was a lack of information about the connection to mental health and substance abuse,” Askin said. “A lot of men think that using drugs and alcohol is the only way to cope when things go wrong and that’s just not true.”

In an effort to help himself, he began volunteering and this led to him becoming the lead peer supporter at Thrive CPLC Nevada Inc. became in Gardnerville.

The facility opened in 2021 and is one of CPLC subsidiaries. Executive Director Colleen Lawrence, EJD told KOLO8 News Now that one of its essential services is a 24/7 crisis support line, which works in conjunction with the local school system and sheriff’s office.

“We were able to secure a SAMHSA grant for Northern Nevada, especially in the rural area,” she said. “When someone is in crisis, you want to be able to respond in your most optimal state and doing that is by having each partner come to the table and be able to respond together.”

The center accepts walk-ins and it includes family-friendly therapy rooms, even for those with sensory needs a Zen room, where individuals can stabilize during a crisis.

Thrive also offers telehealth, individual and family group therapy, psychoeducational classes, adult one-on-one classes, substance use prevention classes, medication management, psychiatry and peer support classes.

“Sometimes it’s better to hear something from a peer supporter, right?” said Lawrence. “I want to hear something from someone who has been through it. Gotta walk the walk, talk the talk.”

Services are currently free, and those interested in an intake can stop by the center (1380 US Highway 395N Gardenville, NV 89410) from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

According to Lawrence, some of the biggest needs in the community include making sure mental health providers aren’t burned out, and assisting the bilingual community. Thrive is experiencing a shortage of bilingual therapists, but they do have translation services available.

The center is available to any child, teenager or adult in need and it does not take appointments for intakes. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 833-240-9017.

Services will be free until the end of February when the grant runs out. After that, Thrive will seek other grants or reach out to Medicare. Lawrence said people still shouldn’t hesitate to seek services.

“We want to make sure they still walk through our door and we’ll figure it out.”

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