Celebrating 25 Years of Business A Journey Marked by Resilience, Growth, and the Power of Community
With the beginning of 2024, I would like to recognize that with the completion of 2023, we completed our 25th year in business at WHC. It seems fitting that we spend a moment recognizing the incredible journey we have traveled to bring us to this milestone. Twenty-five years brings ups and downs, contractions and expansions, economic storms, challenges, and walking the fire for whatever might be present, even a pandemic. It required evolution into areas we hadn’t even considered and, through it all, guidance in what our next steps needed to be.
I thought I would touch on the expansions, changes, and what mental health services look like today. We certainly aren’t the same as we were even ten years ago. That is probably good – just as we need to be changing, growing, and evolving, our practice needs to be doing the same. And just like personally that can be challenging, so has that been true in our practice during these moments.
Throughout these 25 years, our mission has been to bring mental health services to the communities we service, particularly in rural Nebraska. Although Grand Island has moved into a metropolitan status, we continue to find Grand Island people requesting more mental health services than are often available. We have also expanded our remote sites to expand services in rural Nebraska. Our site in Broken Bow (2004) has expanded now to house three full-time therapists. This differs from the one therapist we had at this remote site for many years. Our Kearney site (2012) has three therapists. Our Ord site (2020) houses two therapists, and our most recent office opening happened in 2023 at Albion and houses one therapist.
Another critical touchstone in providing mental health services to our communities was the creation and development of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) program in 2013. Through this program, businesses can purchase services at a very reduced rate to offer mental health benefits to their employees. This program has grown and is a great doorway for ensuring employees can get mental health services when needed. For more on this program, see our EAP article on page four in this newsletter edition.
With the pandemic in 2020, the look and feel of how mental health services were happening changed drastically. March 2020, we went completely to telehealth with all our services. Months later, as we transitioned back to in-person services, telehealth services continued to be requested. Some of our therapists came back to mostly in-person, others came back to mostly telehealth, and many went to a hybrid model. To facilitate this change in telehealth services, all our recordkeeping became electronic. Our therapists were rock stars as they adapted, became even more flexible, carried the load of their own struggles with the pandemic, and held space for their clients who were struggling. Supporting each other looked different, and we had to find our way with how to do it from a distance and how to connect and support each other when not in a place to be face-to-face and in person. Even as we enter 2024, we are still working on this need to connect using ways different than before 2020. But we are resilient, and we continue.
Today we have 18 providers within our five office sites including those providers who provide telehealth services only. All our therapists are trained in trauma-informed care and EMDR. We have two therapists who are trained extensively in hypnotherapy services. Another therapist is starting hypnosis training. We have three therapists trained in Parent-Child Interactive therapy (PCIT). Plus, all therapists here have their own areas of expertise and training, giving us a very diverse group.
Through it all, one constant has remained: the community’s unwavering support. This has kept us going strong. As we look back on our 25-year journey, we extend our heartfelt thanks to our clients, employees, partners, and neighbors who have played pivotal roles in our success. Your trust, loyalty, and unwavering support have been the driving force behind our growth and achievements.
Our 25 years are a testament to the power of community, the spirit of resilience, and the enduring commitment to excellence. We cherish the relationships we have built and the memories we have created. To our communities, we say thank you not only for the past 25 years but also for the years to come. Together, we’ll continue to make a difference, inspire one another, and shape a brighter future. We need each other as we work towards ensuring all mental health needs can be met. This is our latest beacon, directing us where to focus and what is needed presently. Mental health services are scarce and needed even more than ever before. So, we regroup and recalibrate and find a way to work on this next goal. Here’s to the next 25 years of success, gratitude, and support from our hearts to the communities we work with and all you have done to support this process.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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