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Looking Forward to 2022

We are thankful for the successes we have had and for the many children, adolescents, teens, adults, and seniors we have helped. However, as 2021 comes to an end, Improving Lives Counseling Services is looking forward: to providing care for the many who have lost family and friends due to the pandemic; to counseling those who are afraid to share with family how they feel about social-distancing, vaccinations, and wearing masks; and to providing therapy to Oklahoma’s more than 900,000 seeking mental health care. Our “future-focused mindset” is on you, the people, and this community to love and serve.

Reaching out to those who need us most isn’t easy; the stigma around mental health care remains. Though most will say mental health well-being is important, they stray from admitting they have a problem and seeking our help is definitely out. Culture, race, religion, and community all play a role in this ongoing stigma. Family members fear starting the conversation can create pain, stir opposition, and ignite conflict. This is why in 2022 we will continue our campaign to overcome the stigma, contest the misinformation, fight the discrimination, and challenge the many conspiracy theories and false beliefs.

2021 has been a difficult year for many. COVID has caused children, teens, adolescents, and adults to experience fear, anger, confusion, and loss. The lack of childcare, the lack of senior care, and the loss of jobs, of homes, and of social contact has affected mental health and mental well-being. Distance-learning, masking in schools, to quarantine or not to quarantine, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, to test or not to test has not been easy on those mentally healthy – and overwhelming on those mentally ill.

Though mental health has become a buzzword and movie stars, athletes, sports figures, and politicians have made their illnesses public, many who suffer chronic stress, anxiety, and depression are not reached until it’s too late. Though help can be found on a thousand online sites, and suicide numbers are posted everywhere, less than 1/4 of those who need help get the help they need. Mental health has come full circle in the past 10 years, with “well-being” trending in 2021. Television, movies, documentaries, and media are to be applauded for highlighting the importance of mental health, yet the reality is more needs to be done.

Our goal in 2022 is to do even more. Through our website, our blogs, our social media sites, and word-of-mouth, we are going to educate the community on the physiological and psychological effects of mental illness and mental disease and reinforce the significance of seeking help and the importance of early diagnosis. Our team of counselors and therapists will diagnosis and treat substance abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse, human trafficking, sex trafficking, PTSD, extreme trauma, behavior disorders, phobias, anxiety, stress, depression, mental disorders, and mental disease. Due to the side effects of COVID and the trauma of the pandemic, in 2022, child, adolescent, adult, senior, couples, and family counseling will increase. In Oklahoma more than 85% of prescription related deaths are due to opioids. We will work with community leaders providing information, guidance, and support: Opioid use disorder, addiction, and dependence is a treatable disease; lives can be saved.

To reiterate, Improving Lives Counseling Services is looking forward. The past and present are part of who we are, yet we will not let it pen or infer our future. Improving Lives Counseling Services remains focused on you and the community we serve. Your comfort, health, goals, and mental well-being are our priority. Every second you spend with one of our counselors, therapists, or clinicians will be spent on “your future”, assisting you in reaching your full potential and living the life you were meant to live.
Our counselors and therapists, administrative and support team, wish you a safe, Happy, and prosperous New Year, and if you, or someone you know or love needs assistance, call us. Improving Lives Services is here for you.

Kneale Ewing
President and Chief Executive Officer