Mindy Nicholson wanted to make life easier for her Great Bend-area patrons and decided to take action. Her idea recently came full circle, when Sandstone Bridge Center opened in Great Bend.
Sandstone Bridge, with its home office in Salina, offers mental- and behavioral-health services in a variety of settings. It opened Tuesday, May 7, in Suite 105 at 3520 Lakin Ave., the office building just south of St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center.
“We discovered that many of our clients were driving to Salina and our Ellsworth satellite location from Great Bend to seek mental and behavioral therapy,” said Nicholson, founder and owner of the business. “It was time to open a new location to better accommodate our clients.”
Nicholson is a licensed clinical substance abuse counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist.
The local Sandstone office will employ three to five therapists from Great Bend and the surrounding area.
“All our therapists are licensed in Kansas as mental-health providers offering a number of specialties,” Nicholson said. “All current therapists have many years of experience in clinical mental-health settings. We also offer both outpatient and in-home therapy.”
Initially, the Salina office will tend to administrative duties in the new location. However, Nicholson said she wants to employ three local residents as support staff once the client base is established.
Sandstone’s areas of treatment include depression, anxiety, panic disorders, sexual disorders, addictions, gay/lesbian issues, domestic violence/anger management, Christian counseling/spirituality, prenatal and postpartum depression, life changes, communication difficulties, attachment issues, personality disorders, parenting, trauma/PTSD, adoption-related issues and blended families.
“Our therapists have helped many people overcome difficulties,” Nicholson commented. “We work with individuals, couples and families to help them get ‘un-stuck.’ The individualized care makes Sandstone unique among other mental-health facilities in central Kansas.
“A therapist’s most crucial role is serving as a non-biased, non-judgmental and objective partner with the client,” she continued. “This is most beneficial in family and couples counseling when individuals may lack insight into relationship issues.”
The Sandstone owner noted that seeking mental-health treatment is no different than seeking treatment for asthma or high blood sugar. It may take a simple check-up or a period of time to build a toolbox of skills.
“Just as diabetics need to watch their diet and sometimes take medications, it is important to understand that behaviors can be altered through therapy or medications that regulate brain chemicals to alleviate symptoms,” Nicholson said. “Most mental-health issues are biologically based, while others are environmental or associated with substance abuse.”
The therapists will collaborate with physicians, other mental-health providers, employers, social services, the legal system and schools. “The goal is to help people live healthier lifestyles, while maintaining a positive position within families and communities,” Nicholson explained.
She also noted that the local business community has been receptive to this new venture. “I look forward to getting to know them better while playing an active role in the community,” she said.
To schedule an appointment, call 785-823-7400 or visit www.ssbridgecenter.com. The Great Bend office will be open by appointment only in the beginning; a ribbon cutting and open house will be scheduled within the next few months.