NELLIS — The B.A.R.N. Community Center has partnered with Compass Counseling to provide individual, group and family counseling along with recovery support services to Boone County.
B.A.R.N. (Brushton, Ashford, Ridgeview, Nellis) is located inside the since-consolidated Nellis Grade School facility.
On Sept. 30, stakeholders in the initiative met at the center to finalize details of the transition that would see the partnership put in place and open for business on Oct. 1.
Perhaps making the meeting day more poignant, September was national “Recovery Month” to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and to celebrate the people who recover.
Compass Counseling CEO Angie Martin said the Beckley-based company will offer addiction and mental health services, family and play therapy and peer recovery services, among others. According to Martin, peer recovery is an important element of the offerings for Boone County.
“We may have someone who is receiving services and they can’t get a birth certificate and Social Security card and need to get their driver’s license reinstated,” Martin said. “This is just part of what the peer recovery coaches do. We help identify those problems, and they help solve it.”
She said the program aims for long-term sobriety by addressing what clients will need to set up a successful future.
“We want to assist a person with making changes that will help a person maintain long-term sobriety,” she said. “We don’t want to see them struggle with an in-and-out, then in-and-out situation with a clinic. If there is something they need to help them sustain sobriety, we will pay for the birth certificate and help them acquire those basic things that they need to move on with their life.”
The services are paid for via Medicaid, and at this time the company does not accept private insurance; however, Compass is exploring the process of adding additional payment methods for the future.
Martin explained her philosophy of community involvement.
“We don’t need to be sitting in the office,” she said. “We, as a company, need to be out in the community forming partnerships and further developing our outreach.”
The company looks to develop a relationship with Boone County drug and family courts in the coming months, providing support group meetings that operate outside of the faith-based recovery setting.
“This will provide an option for them to court-order people to attend meetings,” added Martin.
Peer Recovery Support Specialist and Community Coordinator JoAnna Vance spoke about her role. Vance, who lives in Beckley today, grew up in Ridgeview and attended Sherman High School. She was recently chosen to serve on the sub-committee for the Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse and Treatment and will represent one of seven regions.
“For someone trapped in the court system to have non-judgmental support from someone who has lived that life and (will) be there to help them through each step along the way to recovery is what my role represents here (with Compass Counseling),” Vance said.
Vance has been active in the recovery community through multiple efforts and said she is constantly looking for ways to reach those in need.
Anita Perdue, who is on the seven-member board of directors for B.A.R.N., said she is excited for the potential of what the partnership can provide. She said it is important to stress that the services that will be provided also include family counseling. With the addition of Compass Counseling, the center still has space available for lease. B.A.R.N. currently offers a clothing closet and a pantry for those in need.
“I think all of these things work hand-in-hand, and when someone comes in with a need there is a good chance they will need some of these other things and they can get as many of those needs met as possible,” Perdue said. “It really is an all-encompassing effort.”
Perdue said that, with the addition of the Coal River Primary and Wellness Center opening in Nellis within the next few weeks, she thinks many of the gaps of community needs in the area can be met.
“We’ll have the wellness center, counseling, the pantry, the clothing closet and, hopefully, they can all build on each other,” she said. “We have Appalachian Botanical in the area who are looking for workers, which is a great resource.”
Perdue said when the citizens who came together to make the B.A.R.N. Community Center a reality, many scoffed at the perceived potential of the center.
“I think they have become excited about it now, and that is what we were hoping for,” she said.
Martin added that the scope of the services of Compass Counseling can also be accessed by those living outside of Boone County.
For more information on the services and the company, call 304-254-8709 or visit them on Facebook or at compasscounselingWV.com. Visit “BARN Community News” on Facebook for information on the center.