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Counseling center seeing increase in clients as pandemic continues

Forward Consulting saw an increase in clients coming in to get counseling over the course of the pandemic. So much so, they have stopped accepting new clients.

DES MOINES, Iowa — From the start of the pandemic to now, one metro mental health clinician says more people are taking mental health seriously by seeking help. 

The demand is getting so high at Breanne Ward's Foward Consulting, they had to create a voicemail alerting callers they are not accepting new clients at this time.

"As a therapist, you get to help them with fact-finding, you get to help them reclaim coping strategies and their lives," Ward said.

According to an American Psychological Association survey, the number of psychologists who reported receiving more referrals in 2021 compared to the previous year almost doubled, going from 37% in 2020 to 62% in 2021.

That same survey also noted psychologists said their waitlist grew during the pandemic and the demand for treating depression had increased.

Ward noticed that as well.

"When the pandemic happened what we were seeing here is the idea that people's support systems [were] really fickle," she said. "What some clients would call fake and so they were struggling to find that social connectedness that was healthy and kept them together as a human."

If a person notices someone else start talking about hopelessness, not seeing a way out and is no longer motivated, they could be exhibiting signs of depression. If that happens, the friend should urge the person who is exhibiting signs of depression to get help.

Ward has also noticed an increase in more minority groups coming in to get help. 

"It’s the idea of 'I just need a safe space to go, I don’t know what else to do, but I'm here'," Ward said. "It’s been warming for me to know this place feels safe enough for someone.”

Ward is planning on holding group therapy sessions this summer to allow some of the people waiting to get seen by her company a chance to speak with others. 

She has compiled a list of therapists of color in the metro, which is included below:

  • William F Walker EMDR, Brian Ellis EMDR
    • Thriving Families Counseling Services
    • 2213 Grand Avenue (Des Moines, Iowa 50312)
    • 515-808-2900
  • Breia Bell, Heather Watson
    • House of Mercy
    • 1409 Clark Street (Des Moines, IA 50314)
    • 515-643-6598
  • Vincent Kelly, Andrea ‘Andye’ Lynn Jones
    • Affinity Therapy and Counseling
    • 4910 Urbandale Ave Ste 304 (Des Moines, Iowa 50310)
    • 515-361-3265
  • Alicia Peña EMDR
    • Tree of Life Therapy and Counseling Services, LLC
    • 4910 Urbandale Ave, Suite 30 (Des Moines, Iowa 50312)
    • 515-608-8892
  • Kenneth Dwayne Cameron, Jamie Allen
    • Aspire Counseling Center, LLC.
    • 3520 Beaver Avenue Suite D (Des Moines, Iowa 50310)
    • 515-608-5418
  • Larry Vernoid Jackson
    • Des Moines, Iowa 50310
    • 563-666-6890
  • Shatai Joiner EMDR
    • Ames Therapy and Consulting
    • 2501 Westown Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA
      • 515-635-0214
    • 1103 Buckeye Ave, Ste 104, Ames, IA 
      • 515-337-1380
  • Rochean Cofield, LMSW
    • Broadlawns Medical Center-Urban Dreams
    • UnityPoint-Methodist Medical Center
    • 515-805-7562
  • Phuong Nguyen Chastain
    • Candeo
    • 9550 White Oak Lane (Johnston, Iowa 50131)
    • 515-619-6045
  • Daniel Chavarria, Amber Jointer
    • Clear Brook Counseling Professionals
    • 614 Billy Sunday Rd #100 (Ames, Iowa 50010)
    • 515-361-7921
  • JaCarie Owens EMDR
    • Courageous Minds Counseling, LLC
    • 1200 Valley West Dr. #704 (West Des Moines, Iowa 50266)
    • 515-444-5993
  • Sharaine Weathers Conner
  • Breanne Ward, Diamond Denney, Jasmin Howard
    • ForWard Consulting, LLC
    • 4309 University Avenue (Des Moines, Iowa 50311)
    • 515-410-1716
  • Sarita Roby EMDR
    • MOSAIC FAMILY Counseling Center Inc.
    • 6200 Aurora Ave, Suite 305E (Urbandale, IA 50322)
    • (515) 724-8920
  • Tammera Bibbins, LISW EMDR
    • Grapevine Clinical, LLC
    • 431 28th Street, Ste 205 (Des Moines, IA 50312)
    • 515-305-3920

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