By Sara Tischauser
Having a safe, secure and friendly environment close to home to share your feelings and thoughts and have someone help you get through life’s struggles is exactly what one local business is doing.
Integrity Counseling, on Main Street in Seymour, has been in Seymour for one-and-a-half years. Connie Norby, licensed professional counselor, started seeing clients at the Seymour location of Integrity Counseling in March.
Norby said she sees clients from the surrounding area and a variety of ages.
“I will see clients as young as three years old and up into senior population,” Norby said.
Ann Gerrits, owner of Integrity Counseling, said that she started her business in Oshkosh in November 2014 and then it expanded to Appleton and most recently added the Seymour office. Gerrits said she saw a need for a counseling service in the Seymour area.
“I would really like to bring the value of our services to people in smaller towns and rural communities versus [clients] having to go to Green Bay or Appleton,” Gerrits said. “There’s a lot of need for youth and family services in this area and also the senior population. That’s a very unmet need particularly in rural areas where transportation is a barrier.”
While having services available in smaller towns, like Seymour is important, there can sometimes be the worry about client’s information being kept confidential. However, Integrity Counseling has worked hard to make sure that client’s privacy is a number one priority.
“People feel they have a quiet space to wait for services,” Gerrits said. “It’s unlikely that the way our appointments are scheduled there is more than one family in waiting room at one time.”
Gerrits said they want to make sure all their clients feel comfortable when they come into the office.
“Really important in small community that they feel safe,” Gerrits said. “[We] try to make it a warm homey environment that [makes] people feel comfortable.”
Tammy Van Eperen, office manager, said it is important that people also know they do take Medicare and Medicaid insurance and also most commercial insurance plans. In addition, Van Eperen said they will work with private pay patients as well.
Another important factor for people considering using the services at Integrity Couseling is that people know there are no waiting lists. Gerrits said, depending on a client’s schedule, most new clients can be seen within two weeks or less.
“That makes us unique,” Gerrits said about how fast they can see new clients. “Usually call in for services have to wait a fair amount of time [with other counseling places].”
As the school year begins, Gerrits said they will probably see an increase in people using their services. She said as the demand increases they will continue to add counselors and appointment days as needed.
Norby said as youth go back to school, parents and other concerned adults should watch for signs that a child may need counseling services. Norby said signs parents should watch for are significant change in behavior, child starts to isolate, grades decrease, child stops activity, child appears sad or despondent or child is distressed. She said these are signs that there may be a problem and parents can call the office at (920) 385-1420 to schedule an appointment.