As a certified family nurse practitioner, Mary Griswold recently began offering medical services at The Center for Counseling & Consultation.
Griswold has 24 years of nursing experience and is pursuing her education to earn credentials as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH NP).
“I think of myself as a natural-born caregiver. I have a lot of personal experience with mental health and it helps me to help others,” Griswold said. “I want to diminish the negative connotation of mental-health issues and let people know that, regardless of how bad things seem, they can get better.
“I want to demonstrate this by example, as well as by using my background and education.”
Conditions that might benefit from treatment are as varied as the patients. In many cases, someone dealing with mental-health issues might benefit from medication, Griswold noted.
“People sometimes ask why I didn’t become a therapist instead of a nurse practitioner who can prescribe meds,” she related. “In this position, I get to do both. When a medication is warranted, therapy is the key to learning new skills to be able to function.”
Therapists at The Center and local physicians sometimes refer patients to Griswold but anyone can call for an appointment.
“We have a great program that allows everyone to be seen, regardless of income or insurance status,” Griswold said. “There is a sliding-fee scale so you don’t have to worry about money being an obstacle to obtaining these services.”
The nurse practitioner sees patients one-on-one, while also encouraging their support team to participate in treatment. This team may include therapists, family, friends, caregivers and case managers.
“Mental health is a team effort,” she explained. “It is important that people understand they are not in this alone.”
Even though Griswold has been at The Center only a short time, she feels welcome. “There is an overwhelming feeling of family here; everyone is so supportive. I finally feel like I am home.”
Griswold was raised in a military family and grew up in Germany, Manhattan, Kan., and Colorado Springs. She is relocating from Newton to Lyons, which is in The Center’s service area.
Griswold’s background includes employment at Select Specialty Hospital in Wichita, Village Manor in Abilene, Avalon Hospice in Topeka and Prairie Band Potawatomi Health Clinic in Mayetta.
She earned her associate’s degree in nursing at Manhattan Area Technical College in 2003 and her bachelor’s in nursing at The University of Kansas Medical Center in 2008. Griswold received her master’s at KU in 2010. Classes for the PMH NP credentials are through Wilkes University in Pennsylvania.
Julie Kramp, The Center’s executive director, said “Mary exemplifies all of our core values here – integrity, compassion, dedication and quality. We are thankful she chose to join our team.”
The Center for Counseling & Consultation is a Community Mental Health Center serving Barton, Pawnee, Rice and Stafford counties. Professionally trained personnel offer: individual and group therapy; marriage and family counseling; community-support services; community-based services; psychosocial rehabilitation; peer support; and medication management. The confidential 24/7 crisis hotline number is 800-875-2544.