Community Counseling Center (CCC) is a 501 (c)(3)       not-for-profit behavioral health organization serving the public since 1974. The Center’s Mission is to provide comprehensive behavioral healthcare treatment for anyone in need residing within the five-county region of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, and Ste. Genevieve. As a Certified Administrative Agent of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, CCC provides a full array of comprehensive behavioral health services to nearly 7,400 unduplicated patients via 41 programs and 430 staff, including physicians, nurses, directors/administrators, therapists, supervisors, case managers for children and adults, IT technicians, support/clerical staff, billing/accounting personnel, medical records, Genoa Pharmacy and other staff

Community Counseling Center (CCC) is funded by the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH); Mental Health Boards in Cape Girardeau, Perry, and Ste. Genevieve Counties; fees for services; grants and contracts; third party insurance; self-pay, and private and corporate gifts.

The Center’s Governing Board is comprised of 12 volunteer members representing and residing in its five county catchment area. Twenty-two volunteer Foundation members arrange annual funding campaigns and events to assist with the Center’s operations, services and programs.

Our Center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International, an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. We have achieved five consecutive, high level three-year Accreditations. During our  2016 evaluation, 17 of our programs were reviewed against 2,052 Standards. The Center was 99% in compliance with Standards, thereby verifying that CCC’s programs are of the highest quality, measurable and accountable. We hope to replicate this standing during September when we undergo our 2017-2019 three year review.

As a Certified Administrative Agent of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Community Counseling Center (CCC) provides a full array of comprehensive behavioral health services. We occupy 31 physical sites throughout our catchment area at which we conduct business and provide a wide array of therapeutic services. During Fiscal Year July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018, we provided 230,836 hours of direct services to nearly 5,200 unduplicated patients via 36 programs and 422 staff, including psychiatrists, nurses, directors/administrators, therapists, supervisors, case managers for children and adults, IT technicians, support/clerical staff, medical records billing/accounting personnel, Genoa Pharmacy and other staff. Three programs, the Gallery of Inspiration, the Peer Impact Center and the TLC Warm Line are CCC consumer operated businesses.

Because Community Counseling Center (CCC) operations involve a vast array of programs and opportunities, throughout the year, Medical and Advanced Nurse Practitioner students from various universities opt to complete their onsite Psychiatric Clinical Rotations at our Center. Additionally, each semester, students from Southeast Missouri State University and other universities complete their Psychology, Mental Health and Substance Use Counseling, Social Work, Criminal Justice and other program Practicums and Internships via the diverse learning opportunities offered in our five county regions. As an additional learning opportunity, these students participate in the Student Focus & Process Group at which they share their practicum/internship experiences, challenges, what did and did not work; what they would do differently and offer suggestions to one another.  



Sadly, during 2018 our two longest Board members from Ste. Genevieve passed away due to illnesses. They are all greatly missed. Mary Ann Otto served on the Board for 38 years from 1979-2017. She served as Board Secretary from 1987-2017. Jerry Jaegers served on the Board for 20 years from 1997-2017, as Vice President from 2002-2008 and Treasurer from 2008-2015.  

Martha Lou Fallert representing Ste. Genevieve County, retired from the Board in 2018 due to health. Dr. John Hinni joined the Governing Board in 1994 representing Cape Girardeau County. He served as President of the Board from  1994 – 2009 and became a senior member in 2010. He retired from the Board in 2018 and maintains Emeritus status and passed away in June 2019. 

Gene Speight representing Cape Girardeau County joined the Board in 2010 and served as President from 2013-2017. He retired from the Board in 2018 and maintains Emeritus status.


                  COLLEEN BURROUGHS RETIRES                      39 YEARS OF SERVICE and DEDICATION


On July 1st, 1980, Colleen began her career as Secretary/

Receptionist with Community Counseling Center (CCC) in Perryville. Her duties included greeting everyone,

telephone contacts, scheduling appointments and all typing and billing. On July 1st, 2010, she became CCC's first Office Manager in Perryville, a position that she has held to current instructing support staff to meet CCC goals, assuring adequate staff coverage for patients, managing day-to-day operations and liaison between support staff and supervisors.


Colleen reminisces, “Of course, there have been numerous changes over the years. When our current Executive Director, John Hudak, was hired, his arrival brought growth and many new programs to help meet the needs of chronically ill individuals and for them to achieve better lives. When the Center earned the Council of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities status, it served as recognition and attestation to our quality of services.”


Colleen has touched the hearts of hundreds of coworkers, patients, community leaders and others. “As I leave Community Counseling Center, I look back on the wonderful people I've worked with – therapists, case managers, crisis workers,  psychiatrists,  nurses,  support and administrative  staff and many others. I’ve greeted many consumers over the years and will miss all of this. I have been very blessed by this position and by those who I've come in contact with daily – truly all outstanding, unique and special individuals. I'm grateful for the time that I had with the Center and humbled to have been a part its mission in providing services to anyone in need in our five counties." Coleen retired April 26, 2019.




Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC)

We continue to move into CCHBC territory which is designed to streamline and improve how states deliver behavioral health services for Medicaid beneficiaries. CCHBC is specifically focused on individuals living with serious mental illness (SMI) and/or severe substance use, and children and adolescents having serious emotional disturbances (SED). Payment for services involves the Prospective Payment System (PPS) Options which has a pre-determined fixed rate for services rendered regardless of type or intensity of services. Our focus is on cost reporting and programs as outlined in the 53 page document of requirements, and although many of the required elements are in place, we need to update and document specifically in accordance to the application format. CCHBC status is a huge transition that will allow us to significantly improve the behavioral health of our consumers by:

  • Providing and coordinating care via a comprehensive array of community-based mental and substance use disorder services;                                                                                       

  • Advancing integration of behavioral health and physical health care;                  

  • Assimilating and utilizing evidence-based practices on a more consistent basis;

  • Promoting improved access to high quality care. 

Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT)

A requirement of CCBHC is for our Center to provide Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT) for patients living with substance use disorders. We continue to develop our plan for providing MAT and reviewing options for integrating this service into our operations. Early in January, Department of Mental Health (DMH) officials accessed our readiness to provide MAT Services, and although they continue to support and encourage our efforts, DMH cannot currently provide funding as expected. Those funds were to have been set aside for agencies like ours, not yet CCBHC Certified, and would have deferred the cost of care for individuals without Medicaid support. While some funding may be available to non-CCBHC programs, how much would be available is not known. Reportedly, DMH is to receive a new Opioid Grant that specifies funds for MAT services for Centers like ours and new funds would pay for services. 

Streamline/Smartcare Electronic Health Records

Although challenging, in tandem and necessary for meeting Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic requirements and status, we continue to make significant progress in implementing Streamline and Smartcare processes which are user friendly and efficient EHRs designed for Behavioral Health systems. Developing suitable and applicable formats for this system has been an ongoing process. We have developed forms compatible with this system and met our goal of data migration and live implementation of Streamline on September 10th, 2018. It has been a huge undertaking involving countless hours of redirection and reorganization and a significant amount of patience on behalf of everyone.

Liberty Apartments

In 2018, Chad Hartle of RCH Development, Inc. and Dr. Sharon Braun of Community Counseling Center presented Liberty Apartments to members of the Cape Girardeau City Council, all of whom were highly supportive. Our Liberty Apartments application was presented and approved in 2019 by Missouri Housing Development Commission and approved by the State. We continue to work with the Cape Girardeau Area Housing Committee in securing the 40 unit Liberty Apartments affordable housing complex that will be located in South Cape Girardeau. Vulnerable and economically disadvantaged individuals will have an opportunity for safe, affordable housing and able to live as independently as possible. Community Counseling Center is the Lead Referral Agency with ten (10) units set aside for our consumers having special needs and who will receive service enriched supportive services offered by CCC Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation providers licensed by Missouri Department of Mental Health and funded through Medicaid.  Additional referrals and services will be provided by representatives of 24 multi-social services and civic entities comprising the Cape Girardeau Area Housing Committee. Construction of Liberty Apartments will begin midsummer 2019.

Clustered Apartments Program

Our Clustered Apartment Program (CAP) program offers supportive rehabilitation services to assist individuals 18 years or older who have special needs in maintaining their independence within the community and minimizing the risk of out of home placement. Supportive services are offered by our Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center providers licensed by Missouri Department of Mental Health and funded through Medicaid. CAP services require the use of strength-based approaches when working with consumers. Service delivery incorporates trauma-informed principles and motivational interviewing techniques. CAP services meet the consumers “where they are” and offer a variety of skill building and practical skill application in their living environment based on their current strengths, needs, abilities, and preferences. CAP provides  supportive rehabilitation services to assist individuals in maintaining their independence within the community and minimizing the risk of out of home placement.

Community Counseling Center South Campus

In response to the Center’s continued growth, in 2018 we purchased property at 1913 Rushmar in Cape to accommodate expansion and the need of additional office space for supportive services. Our Adult and Children Comprehensive Psychiatric Rehabilitative Center (Case Management), Healthcare Home Nurses (monitor consumer medications, diabetes, vitals, etc.) and Individual Placement Services (consumer employment) are housed at this location.   

School Based Mental Health Counseling

We continue to increase the number of school based mental health counselors based on student needs. We currently employ Ten School Based Counselors who are assigned to Cape (2), Ste. Genevieve (2), Jackson (2), Perryville (1), Marble Hill (1), Fredericktown (1). Additionally, we have one (1) School Based Counselor/Crisis Worker and one (1) School Based Care Coordinator (case manager) assigned to Cape Schools. School administrators and teachers provide referrals for counseling services. Our counselors utilize the Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ3) which provide a full psychosocial evaluation and risk assessment on each child. All Crisis and Follow-up PHQ9 assessments, the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (SSRS) for suicide and the Stanley Brown Personal Safety Plan (SBPSP) are utilized. Families are involved as much as possible, and as further support, we provide child and adolescent case management in the homes whether the children are in school or currently not in school. We have Case Managers in all of our counties who are in contact with schools. We and school officials continue to see a rise in the need for increased School Based Counseling services. The following provides our 2018 student enrollment in School Based Counseling in comparison with 2019 student enrollment in School Based Counseling.

School Based Mental Health Services                     School Based Mental Health Services

            Current Enrollment                                              Year to Date Enrollment                                  

            Cape and Jackson    111                                           Cape and Jackson   112                   

            Perryville                    26                                           Perryville                   31

            Ste. Genevieve            55                                           Ste. Genevieve           74

            Fredericktown             2                                           Fredericktown             1  (Began 2019)    

           Marble Hill                 25                                           Marble Hill                33_

                                              219 Total                                                                   251 Total        

School Based Youth Day Treatment Program

We continue our onsite Day Treatment Program partnerships at Cape, Jackson and Ste. Genevieve Schools and working towards expansion into Madison and Bollinger Counties. Additionally, Day Treatment Programs are being discussed in Jackson for older children. Two programs operate with elementary schools in Jackson and Ste. Genevieve. Our Cottonwood Day Program has expanded to accommodate more children from Cape Schools and include elementary aged and older youth. Day Treatment provides more intensive services than outpatient treatment for elementary through secondary youth who require an alternative to inpatient care or partial hospitalization. An intensive array of services are provided in a structured, supervised environment designed to reduce symptoms of a psychiatric disorder and maximize the youth’s functioning to a level that s(he) can transition back to the regular school and able to interact in community and family settings. This multidisciplinary team approach to care combines education, counseling, and family interventions. Day Treatment staff includes a Manager, Therapist, Family Assistance Workers, Van Driver/Aide, Teachers/aids, Nurses and Psychiatrist. Our School Based Supervisor oversees/coordinates services within our system. Reportedly, the models of school based services that we created are the envy of other regions.  

The following provides our 2018 enrollment in comparison with 2019 enrollment in Youth Day Treatment Program.

        Youth Day Treatment                        Youth Day Treatment

               Current Enrollment                                Year to Date Enrollment

  Cape Youth Day Treatment      28         Cape Youth Day Treatment         32

 Jackson Youth Day Treatment  15         Jackson Youth Day Treatment    18

Ste. Gen Youth Day Treatment   28           Ste. Genevieve Youth Day Treatment 12

        Total Year To Date               42          Total Year To Date                      62 


coNEXTion Resource Center

coNEXTion, our newest program, provides resources and mental wellness services to residents in South Cape Girardeau. coNEXTion promotes necessary and positive change and, in effect, addresses ongoing and pervasive poverty, drugs and drug gangs, lack of employment opportunities and other factors that breed violence. The Office Manager and Peer Support Staff oversee coNEXTion operations and educate the public regarding access to services and opportunities in South Cape via presentations, interviews, workshops, and other venues. coNEXTion invites and encourages South Cape residents to get “coNEXTed” and participate in the revitalization of their community.

coNEXTion works closely with middle and high school superintendents and educators in organizing free creative arts (Art Classes) and free literacy events (A.B.C. SQUAD) sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Rotary Club and offered on site at coNEXTion. Additional partners include Cape Public Library, SEMO Arts Council, SEMO Arts Department and Performing Arts, churches and many community organizations. The Cape Girardeau Police Department is a primary partner and established a Substation onsite at coNEXTion. “Young Influencers” is a newly developing group comprised of students who have experienced and overcome significant and dramatic events (i.e., suicide attempt, bullying, teen pregnancy, trauma, substance use, etc.)and want to share their stories with other youth as an avenue to promote change and wellness. Community Counseling Center will provide venues in which these students can carry out their mission.

We continue to increase our visibility and programming in South Cape and have an active role in the Purpose Built Communities initiative in rejuvenating Cape’s Southside. We will assist residents in accessing mental wellness services and direct them to resources. Free art lessons, reading, GED, Job Search, group meetings and other activities are conveniently available. coNEXTion staff and SEMO University Professors from the Counseling and Psychology programs are partnering to offer Photovoice, a process of telling one's story via photos and journaling and which may result in research outcomes.  

____________________________________________________________________________________ Integrated Treatment for Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorder (ITCD) 

We expanded our Integrated Treatment for Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorder (ITCD) Co-occurring for adults and youth. We acquired a building in Madison County to house Case Managers and the ITCD program. ITCD services are now provided in all of our 5 counties Bollinger, Cape, Madison, Perry and Ste. Genevieve. ITCD is an evidence based practice that improves the quality of life for individuals living with these disorders. ITCD emphasizes that individuals achieve big changes in sobriety, symptom management and independent living via a small, overlapping, incremental changes that occur overtime


Louis E. Masterman Group Home

We plan to secure a site and build a replacement facility for our Louis E. Masterman Group Home and expand our onsite Intensive Residential Services (IRTS) beds which provide a temporary safety net for individuals in crisis when inpatient hospital beds are not available. CCC staff is involved in planning space and design based on current requirements and based on our experience with our Ridgeway House for women which was completed in 2017. A preliminary floor plan and preliminary cost for Lou Masterman Group Home is being prepared and will be revised as necessary. Our focus will be best practice options in relation to Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) cost reporting.


Perryville Office

We will explore building type(s), methods of construction and land available on which to build a Behavioral Health office in Perryville as we currently do not have space for our Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services program, no group room or enough private rooms for Counseling and Psychiatry. We currently utilize office space provided by the Health Department but it no longer meets our needs and restricts our ability to serve the community as we are accustomed in doing.


Cottonwood Children’s Residential Center, South Campus

We will be requesting cost estimates for replacing the 36,000 sq. ft. original roof at Cottonwood (formerly the Life Care Center) and will be a high ticket project.  


Certified Peer Support Specialists Program

We continue to increase employment of consumer Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPS) as they relate to other consumers in a manner that helps them feel comfortable with the entry process and accessing services. CPS staff assist with initial paperwork, Medicaid application, benefits and resources and tasks needed in other CCC programs. We are increasing Peer Support groups and events provided at the consumer operated Peer Impact Center (Peers Empowering & Educating Respectfully) and the Talk, Listen, Care (TLC) phone line. 


Suicide Prevention & Awareness Conference

Community Counseling Center’s Annual Suicide Prevention & Awareness Conference is the most highly attended Awareness Conference in the State of Missouri and is being expanded even more. Last year’s conference offered its first youth breakout sessions which were filled to capacity and highly rated. This year, youth will  help facilitate sessions and others will share their stories. Our 6th year conference is July 25th from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will again be held at the Show Me Center to accommodate nearly 900 plus professionals, general public, law enforcement, education and others. Free admission and free lunch are offered. Keynote Speakers will be announced. CEUs are available.


09-25-18 Community Counseling Center Walks for Suicide Awareness 

 Over 600 participants including Community Counseling Center employees joined family, friends, co-workers and others to participate in Cape Girardeau's 6th Annual Out of the Darkness Walk at North Cape County Park. Each year, thousands of people throughout the country participate in the walks to raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFS)) whose vision is to create a world without suicide. These walks honor loved ones lost to suicide, raise funds, build awareness and help prevent suicide. AFSP has promoted Out of the Darkness walks since 2004 as an avenue by which survivors of suicide loss can be involved in a variety of educational, outreach, awareness, advocacy, and fundraising programs.  

Prior to the walk, each team captain announced the name and shared a photo of the loved one or friend being honored whose life was lost to suicide. Teams began their walk at noon around the North County Park pond. Our team had 54 participants including CCC staff and clients. In addition to this fundraiser, we hope to keep fundraising throughout the year for the AFSP's Out of the Darkness Walk to help fund our Annual Suicide Prevention and Awareness Conference. AFSP Out of the Darkness walks raise funds (82 cents of every dollar) that can be used towards AFSP’s Five Core Strategies: 

  • Educate the public about mental disorders and suicide prevention
  • Fund scientific research
  • Promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention
  • Provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involve them in the work of the Foundation
  • Offer educational programs for professionals 

AFSP monies also provided funding for Community Counseling Center staff to be trained in Mental Health First Aid for Adults and for Youth and, thereby, allowing them to train members in society on how to (1) identify signs of mental illness and suicide ideation, (2) ask someone if s(he) is okay and, (3) help someone get assistance if s(he) needs it.   


 Crisis Intervention Team (CIT

Community Counseling Center will continue to sponsor the annual Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) banquet to honor law enforcement throughout our five counties. We intend to expand our CIT training to all law enforcement agencies in our catchment area, including the Police Academy at Southeast Missouri State University. A primary CIT outcome is for officers to learn and recognize whether they are faced with a law violation or with a mental health issue which, in turn, significantly alters how law enforcement approaches and responds to individuals appearing to be a threat.  CIT training also helps law enforcement effectively recognize the needs of persons with mental illness and substance use issues.

CIT curriculum consists of 40 direct clock hours of training and is mandatory for area law enforcement. Our local CIT program has met all requirements for National Certification. Feedback from officers continues to be highly positive and with better end results than prior to trainings. CIT  CIT provides officers with local resource information and how to access services. Our Center is proud to be a part of this initiative.


Clinical Rotations, Internships and Practicums

CCC will continue to serve as a Field Placement Site for 3rd and 4th year medical students and nurse practitioners who complete their required psychiatric rotations within CCC’s Cottonwood Residential Treatment Center, Suicide Prevention, Diversion Day and Integrated Dual Diagnosis Groups, Outpatient Therapy and Psychosocial Rehabilitation programs. Twenty-six students have completed their psychiatric clinical rotations at CCC.

CCC will continue to serve as a Field Placement Site for university intern and practicum students from various fields of social services. For spring semester, we have 13 students who meet twice monthly, the purpose of which is to process their experiences and challenges while shadowing programs.         



                                                    Where We Are Going                                               

Facility Management  

  • On completion of 4,000 sq. ft. of new construction property donated by Campbell Mattress Company, we will relocate seven current female patients and three additional female patients to Ridgeway House Intensive Residential Treatment Services.      
  • On completion 38,000 sq. ft. renovation of the former Life Care Center, we will move our Cottonwood Children’s Outpatient Treatment (16 beds), Cottonwood Administration, Cottonwood Children’s Day Treatment Program and Cottonwood Treatment Family Homes to the new site which will be known as the North Campus. Our new North Campus was partially donated by the Life Care Center Corporations and partially supported by Community Counseling Center’s Foundation.
  • Partner with developers and organizations to expand 24/7 Clustered Apartment initiatives in Cape Girardeau, Perry and Ste. Genevieve Counties. These apartments allow for a residential care worker to be on site eight hours per day, seven days a week providing oversight and interventions as specified in a plan of care for our patients who have chronic mental health conditions, histories of multiple hospitalizations and who need substantial support to remain in the community. We are able to provide additional on-site services that foster stability and avert hospitalization. CCC Clustered Apartments include Boehme-Hinni and Athena Apartments (Cape), New Morning Apartments (Fredericktown) and Ste. Genevieve Manor.   
  • On behalf of the Cape Girardeau Area Housing Committee comprised of representatives from 27 multi-social services and civic entities, we submitted an application to the Missouri Housing Institute to secure funding. If awarded, monies would allow the committee to expand housing options for vulnerable, at risk, homeless and economically disadvantaged populations so that they have safe and affordable housing and to live as independently as possible.   


  • Increase Peer Support Specialist staff to assist other CCC consumers in accessing services and availability of peer group support.
  • Expand individual and group counseling for Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders (ITCD (Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders) to Bollinger and Perry Counties.
  • Promote visibility of Stop Needless Acts of Violence Please (SNAP) initiative. Acquire a building on Cape Southside that provides space for offices, programs and outreach resources. The goal is to eventually mirror services (i.e., outpatient therapy, psychiatry, case management, etc.) offered at our Silver Springs office.
  • Assume an active role in Cape Girardeau’s initiative, Purpose Built Communities, to rejuvenate Cape’s Southside. If approved, renovation of Cape Southside willmodel East View, a successful housing complex located in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Continue to host and expand the CCC’s Annual Suicide Prevention & Awareness Conference. Our 4th year conference on July 20th from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., will be held at the Show Me Center to accommodate nearly 600 plus attendees (i.e., professionals, general public, law enforcement, education, etc.) Free admission and free lunch is offered. Keynote Speakers are Craig Miller and Taryn Aiken. 
  • Continue to provide and expand Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement and the Police Academy at Southeast Missouri State University. CIT curriculum consists of 40 direct clock hours of training and is now mandatory for area law enforcement. The local CIT program has met all requirements for National Certification. Feedback from law enforcement officers is positive, with better end results than prior to training. CIT has significantly altered how law enforcement approaches and responds to individuals appearing to be a threat and to effectively recognize the needs of persons with mental illness and substance use issues. CIT provides officers with local resource information and how to access services.   
  • Secure a “certified” electronic medical record to meet the requirements of a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). One requirement of CCBHC is to provide medical assisted treatment for patients with substance use disorders. If the Center applies for CCBHC status, we will train our current physicians or secure other options for medical oversight.  
  • Hire a fulltime Suicide Prevention and Awareness Coordinator/Specialist who will reach out to schools, organizations and the broader community to increase their knowledge and understanding of suicide and their role in reducing suicide statistics. Community


 MARCH 2016 -- FEBRUARY 2017

Where we have been 

  • Commission On Accreditation Psychiatric Facilities: CCC completed an on-site survey in which 2,052 Standards were reviewed and for which the Center scored 99%, an incredible result. CCC was awarded its fourth, three year                    Re-accreditation Award.   
  • Individual Placement Services (IPS): CCC’s IPS program which helps CCC consumers find employment achieved an “exemplary” score for fidelity compliance from the Department of Mental Health. IPS  continues to secure employment for numerous consumers at various locations in this region. 
  • School Based Services: We increased the number of school based mental health therapists and now have two therapists assigned in Cape and Jackson schools and another therapist in Perryville. A therapist alternates between Fredericktown and Ste. Genevieve schools. We
  • have onsite Day Treatment programs in Cape and Jackson schools which are the result of a partnership with schools. The program in Cape is managed at Cottonwood Treatment Center and met capacity enrollment of 14 children early on. Designated school teachers provide education at Cottonwood to children who are unable to attend regular school sessions. Staff assist alternating groups of students who display behavioral and impulse control issues and help them learn socialization and coping skills. The program is intended to serve as a treatment resource for schools and as a resource for children served in the Treatment Family Home Program after they leave Cottonwood. School teachers refer students for CCC counseling and case management services.     
  • El Nathan Home: We celebrated the opening of our Marble Hill Facility El Nathan which was a partial donation by owner Charles Johnson to Community Counseling Center Foundation. Acquisition of the El Nathan Home came at a time when our Center was in dire need of space for support staff, psychiatrist and nurses, therapists and case managers. El Nathan Home allowed us to move ourPsycho-Social Rehabilitation program on site as well, and for the first time, all of our programs in Marble Hill were housed under one roof 
  • Diversion Services: The Department of Mental Health (DMH) approved CCC to begin Transitional Youth Age Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders (TYA ITCD) program starting July 1st. CCC is the only agency in the State that has been given approval and CCC will assist other agencies with initiating the program and with fidelity reviews from DMH. TYA ITCD is designed for individuals ages 16 to 25 who are assigned to CCC’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center (CPRC) services and who have a substance use problem or disorder.
  • CCC’s Adult Integrated Treatment Co-Occurring Disorders (ITCD) program is provided for individuals residing in Cape Girardeau, Madison and Ste. Genevieve Counties who are ages 25 and older and have a substance use problems or disorders. Individuals must also be assigned to our Comprehensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center program.
  • Drop In Center: CCC opened its consumer operated and managed Peer Empowering & Educating Respectfully (PEER) drop in center, a program of the Peer Advocacy Board (formerly Consumer Advisory Board). PEER provides resource information and offers groups, including Illness Management and Recovery, Whole Health Action Management, Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and Consumer Operated Service Providers. PEER is open to anyone and is located at 113 S. Silver Spring Rd. #101, Cape Girardeau.  
  • Supportive Community Living (SCL): CCC developed a plan of action approved by the Department of Mental Health which allows CCC to administer Supportive Community Living funds for consumers who have guardians and/or who are unable to handle their own finances.
  • The Brick House: Transitional Living For Young Men and Women: The Brick House has four bedrooms available for youth transitioning into the community. It provides safe housing and an opportunity to learn skills and to live independently. The House provides 24 hour staff support, 7 days per week. Resident Care Workers assist residents with activities of daily living, learning how to properly take medication, budgeting, cooking healthy meals, hygiene and maintaining a clean environment. Individualized treatment plans are designed to meet each youth’s goals for transitioning. Emphasis in developing independent living skills, stabilizing mental health and assuming responsibility are key factors to development, progress, and quality of life.
  • The Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) program to train law enforcement officers on how to effectively identify and address the needs of persons with mental illness, and how to access resources that assist and support police officers, continues to expand. The CIT program meets requirements for national certification. CIT curriculum consists of 40 direct clock hours and is now mandatory for area law enforcement. CCC hosted its first annual CIT Appreciation Dinner honoring Law Enforcement for their services. Awards were presented to officers represented in CCC’s five county catchment area. Over 200 attendees participated. Preparation for the Second Annual Appreciation Dinner is underway.    
  • Zero Suicide Initiative Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention defines Zero Suicide as “a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems. It is both a concept and a practice.” CCC adopted and upholds the belief that suicide deaths are preventable and has implemented essential prevention practices and training that identify and thwart suicide attempts and completed suicide. We want Zero Suicide to be embedded in the Center’ culture.
  • CCC continues to serve as a Field Placement Site for 3rd and 4th year medical students and nurse practitioners who complete their required psychiatric rotations within CCC’s Cottonwood Residential Treatment Center, Suicide Prevention, Diversion Day and Integrated Dual Diagnosis Groups, Outpatient Therapy and Psychosocial Rehabilitation programs. Twelve students have completed their psychiatric rotations at CCC.
  • CCC’s consumer operated Gallery of Inspiration art studio held its second benefit silent auction at its location in the Bilderbach Art Plaza. The proceeds provide funds for consumer members of the Gallery’s Art Guild to purchase art supplies.
  • Numerous CCC staff and consumers participated in Out of the Darkness Walk to promote awareness about suicide and raise money towards preventing suicides.

___________________________________________________________________________________                                                          Locked In Mental Illness

  • Sharon Braun Ph.D is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Board Certified Counselor employed 14 years at Community Counseling Center. She has held numerous positions at CCC and is currently Director of Public Relations at CCC.

    One morning in July as “Jack” was driving the interstate he came to the conclusion that he no longer wanted to live his life and was resolute in ending it that day. While driving he was “locked in”, ruminating about how worthless he was for having lost job after job due to anger and a “short fuse”, a failed marriage, sadness and drinking and self-medicating to erase memories of sexual abuse by his father and step-father. Yes, today he was resolute in ending his life. He spotted an eighteen wheeler pulled off the side of the road with the tailgate down, perfect for driving his car high speed, nonstop into the trailer, and then darkness and nothing else.      

    If society could but accept the fact that anyone can have a mental illness regardless of race, gender, age, religion, income, or education, and that every family is affected in some way by mental illness, then the world would be a more “normal” place to live. Because biological, neurological, genetic factors, environment, abuse/neglect, trauma are central  contributors to mental illness, it is logical to think that mental illness is a “normal condition” of being human and eradicate any notion of stigma. Still, too many people feel shamed by their mental illness and will not share with others that they are struggling or unable to cope with life’s events and demands. Because of the stigma associated with mental illness, many people do not seek the treatment they need and that can ease or alleviate their symptoms, and sometimes “self-medicate” – turn to alcohol and/or drugs to mask the emotional and psychological pain. But that is not the answer because the root cause of distress is not being treated. Overuse of these substances can lead to addictions which exacerbate the illness, and all too often, untreated mental illness and/or addiction (co-occurring) leads to failure in school, loss of employment, destroyed relationships/marriages, declined physical health, and other unwanted outcomes, such as suicide and violence. Additionally, a diagnosis of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other physical illnesses can be devastating and patients are at risk for depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicide. Collaboration of primary care and behavioral health is important and essential to ensure a holistic approach to wellness.   

    September has long been recognized as Suicide Prevention and Awareness month, and since 1975 advocates have worked hard to organize events such as Out of the Darkness community walks and utilize media and other resources to educate and increase public awareness about the reality of suicide and the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness. In August 2015, the United States President proclaimed September as the National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery month, which seems fitting, as many health professionals and the public sector recognize that suicide, mental illness and addiction often intersect, sometimes resulting in violent acts not only of self but of others as well. However, statistics demand that we work harder to help individuals living with mental illness and/or addiction because too often they lead to suicide. 

    The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) noted that, as a nation, we are experiencing a mental health ciris. Sixty million Americans (25%) suffer with mental illness each year. Mental illness causes more disability than cancer and heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) reported in 2011 that the rate of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States had decreased or held steady – except for the tenth leading cause of death – suicide.  In 2012, the national suicide rate rose two percent to 12.6 suicide deaths per 100,000 population. Missouri’s suicide rate of 15.9% exceeded the national suicide rate, and the average suicide rate of 13.6% for the five counties that Community Counseling Center serves, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, and Ste. Genevieve, exceeded the national suicide rate as well. During 2012, more veterans committed suicide than were killed in combat. Today, 25% of suicides are veterans.

    Mental Illness and Suicide Statistics – 2012 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 2015 National Council Behavioral Health (NCBH) 2013 World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    • Mental illness typically strikes young people during their most productive years between ages of 16 to 25 (NAMI)
    • 20% of youth ages 13 to 18  and 13% of youth ages 8 to 15 experience severe mental disorders in a given year (NAMI)
    • Major depression affects 1 in 12 youth; of those youth, 1 in 14 commit suicide (NAMI)
    • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 25-34 year olds and the 3rd leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds in America (NCBH)
    • 6.7% – 14.8 million American adults live with major depression (NAMI)
    • 18.1% -- 42 million American adults live with anxiety disorders (NAMI)
    • 9.2 million American adults have co-occurring mental health/addiction disorders (NAMI)
    • 60% of adults and 50% of youth ages 8 to 15 living with a mental illness did not receive mental health services (NAMI)
    • Veterans represent 25% of suicides nationally – about 22 veterans die by suicide daily
    • 41,149 suicides were reported in 2013, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans
    • A person dies by suicide in the United States every 13 minutes (CDC) – more than all the yearly victims of wars and natural disasters (WHO) 

    Cape Girardeau County Mental Illness and Suicide Statistics – 2014 Report for 2012 

    Hospitalization, no emergency room                      Emergency Room and Hospitalization             

    • 676 Mental Illness Primary Diagnosis               75 Mental Illness Primary Diagnosis
    • 72 Alcohol Primary Diagnosis                            35 Alcohol Primary Diagnosis
    • 43 Drug Primary Diagnosis                                 11 Drug Primary Diagnosis
    • 267 Alcohol Related Diagnosis                           155 Alcohol Related Diagnosis 
    • 306 Drug Related Diagnosis                                  98 Drug Related Diagnosis        

     Emergency Room, no Hospitalization     Suicides and Self-Inflicted Injuries  

    • 714 Mental Illness Primary Diagnosis                  12 Suicides
    • 144 Alcohol Primary Diagnosis                            91 Self-Inflicted Injuries
    • 84 Drug Primary Diagnosis
    • 320 Alcohol Related Diagnosis
    • 307 Drug Related Diagnosis 

    Psychiatric Services

    • 1,624 Adults
    • 254 Children/Youth
    • Mood Disorder (e.g., Depression, Bi-polar) most prevalent diagnosis o To Help Someone Living With a Mental Illness or Addiction   
    • Invite mental health and addiction professionals to speak about these illnesses at the organizations you attend.   
    • Openly discuss mental illnesses (e.g., depression, bi-polar, anxiety, etc.) and addiction with  family, friends, and co-workers. These conversations foster knowledge and awareness about mental illness and addiction and lessen stigma associated with mental illness and addiction.  
    • Participate in local activities (e.g., Out of the Darkness Walks, memorials, events, etc.) that promote mental health awareness and address stigma associated with mental illness and addiction.    
    • Be compassionate with individuals living with mental illness and addiction just as you are with individuals diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Anyone can have a mental illness just as she or he can have a medical illness. No one asks for either one.  
    • Sign up for Community Counseling Center’s Mental Health First Aid Training that teaches you how to recognize signs of mental illness and addiction, a 5-step plan for how to assess a situation and how and where to refer someone for help. 



For several years “Tom” held a prominent job and considered himself to be successful in the field of finance. He was happy, had good friends, enjoyed life. Without warning, his behavior and life changed dramatically. Job performance declined, relationships lost. His sudden and contrasting shifts from extreme euphoria to severe sadness unsettled others. He was shunned. Tom was living Bi-Polar Disorder and the mindless stigma that accompanies mental illness.

What does stigma look like? An employee at a behavioral health organization where he received mental health services presented his story of recovery to local service organizations so that attendees could gain knowledge and understanding of mental illness. The CEO scheduled these presentations and accompanied the employee to provide an overview of programs and services. The employee was well liked, professional, personable and well-spoken; an unassuming and inspiring man whose story prompted interest, empathy, and an abundance of queries about mental illness. On one occasion they were scheduled to present to a women’s service organization held in a member’s home, but when the host learned that one of the speakers had a mental illness, she informed the CEO that he was welcome to present but not the man with mental illness. When asked why, she said, “If he comes in my home once, I’m afraid he’ll return and do harm.” This man was Tom.

Starting in 1949, May has been observed as National Mental Health Awareness month. Advocates work hard to bring mental health issues to the forefront and to tackle stigma associated with mental illness. Supporters organize walks, memorials and utilize media to raise awareness about mental illnesses and suicides, but after 66 years of effort, society has barely budged beyond the conviction that mental illness is a “disorder” equating with “un-normal”, in spite of the fact that 25% or 60 million Americans experience mental illness each year, and the fact that mental illness causes more disability than cancer and heart disease. Mental illness is common!

Why does stigma persist? Historical language used to describe mental illness primed the underpinnings of stigma. The terms “crazy”, “lunacy” became synonymous with insanity. To its credit, the classification of mental illnesses in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the “Bible” of psychiatric diagnoses, lessened confusion and provided a common language by which mental health professionals communicate. To its discredit, the generational language used by the mental health community has added to the stigma. Over time, professionals have learned that labeling of certain pathologies perpetuates stigma and causes harm. Sadly, stigma continues to strike its victims.

Anyone can have a mental illness regardless of race, gender, age, religion, income, education. Every family is affected by mental illness. Biological, neurological, genetic factors, environment, abuse/neglect, trauma are contributors. Due to the stigma associated with mental illness, some people feel shamed and do not seek treatment that can ease and alleviate their symptoms. Some “self-medicate” with alcohol/drugs to mask emotional and psychological pain. But that is not the answer because the root cause of distress is not being treated. Untreated mental illness/addiction leads to failure in school, loss of employment, destroyed marriages, declined physical health, and other unwanted outcomes.

Mental Illness/Suicide Statistics – 2012, 2013

  • Mental illness typically strikes young people during their most productive years, ages 16 to 25
  • 20% of youth ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year; 13% ages 8 to 15
  • 60% adults, 50% youth ages 8 to 15 did not receive mental health treatment
  • 12.6 suicides per100,000 population every 40 seconds – more than all the yearly victims of wars and natural disasters; highest toll among elderly
  • Veterans represent 20% of suicides – 22 suicides daily
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death – every 12.8 minutes

What You Can Do

  • Invite professionals to speak about mental illnesses at your organizations.
  • Openly discuss mental illnesses (depression, bi-polar, etc.) with family, friends, co-workers to foster knowledge/awareness about mental illness.
  • Participate in Out of the Darkness Walks, memorials.
  • Be compassionate with individuals living with mental illness/addiction as you are with individuals diagnosed with cancer or heart disease. No one asks for either one.
  • Sign up for Mental Health First Aid Training – learn to recognize signs of mental illness, how and where to refer for help.
  • Use language that respects the worth and dignity of all persons.


February 19, 2015

Cottonwood Privatization Update to Jackson Kiwanis Members

CEO John Hudak of Community Counseling Center (CCC) provided an update to Jackson Kiwanis Club members regarding the privatization of Cottonwood Children’s Residential Treatment Center in Cape Girardeau. Hudak noted that due to State budget constraints which led to the threat of Cottonwood closing, the community rallied and gathered nearly 4,000 signatures to keep Cottonwood’s doors open. Elected State Officials Kathy Swain, Wayne Wallingford, Donna Litchenneger and others negotiated with the State to find a way to keep Cottonwood open. During the interim, Hudak contacted the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to offer Community Counseling Center (CCC) services in any way it could to keep Cottonwood from closing. “As the Administrative Agent of DMH in this area, the end result was that CCC would operate and oversee restructuring of Cottonwood.”

Hudak said that when he extended the offer to the State for Community Counseling Center (CCC) to assist with services as a means to keep Cottonwood functional, he had not anticipated that the CCC would be Cottonwood’s lifeline, but that being the case, a primary focus was to work with Cottonwood staff to maintain the integrity of services. At that point in time, many Cottonwood staff had already found new jobs because it had previously been announced that Cottonwood would be closed. “A real question was, how could CCC as a not-profit behavioral health organization compete with State salaries and benefits that Cottonwood staff were accustomed to receiving? As it turned out, CCC’s salaries were comparable to Cottonwood salaries, and the majority of remaining staff were so committed to Cottonwood and accustomed to working with these kids that they opted to compromise with benefits and stay on. Forty-eight remained.”

When Cottonwood was established during the late 1980s, it was staffed for 32 beds. When Cottonwood was transferred to Community Counseling Center (CCC), beds were limited to 16. Hudak said that because Cottonwood was set up as an Inpatient Diversion Program by the State, and due to a recent Medicaid ruling regarding this type of program, the number of beds allowed is limited to 16 in a residential location. All 16 beds are full at Cottonwood.

Since January 3rd when Community Counseling Center (CCC) took over Cottonwood, “It is incredible the number of people involved with making this [Cottonwood] work. We’re very excited with what’s happening.” When Dr. Brad Robinson heard about the privatization of Cottonwood and CCC taking over operations, he met with us to determine if, and in what capacity, he might come on board and become a part of Cottonwood. “Brad met with us because of his love for Cottonwood kids. He’s [Robinson] an excellent psychiatrist who previously worked at Cottonwood and who for many years has devoted his private practice to kids and adolescents. Brad told me that in all the years of practice, he never hospitalized a child because he believes there are other ways to keep children in crisis with their families, mainly by working closely with the parents or guardians. We are so very happy and proud to have Dr. Brad Robinson as the Medical Director at Cottonwood.”

Prior to privatization of Cottonwood, children were seen once monthly by two psychiatrists who traveled from St. Louis. All of this has changed as a result of Dr. Robinson. As the Director of Cottonwood, he wants to be on call 24/7 so as to improve the lives of Cottonwood kids. Dr. Robinson is available during crisis situations but he also likes to talk with the kids and play ball and other activities with them as well. According to Hudak, Dr. Robinson believes that staff at Cottonwood can provide the same treatment here that can be offered in hospitals.

“Some kids can’t make it at home or school. We have the most difficult kids on our caseloads. If unattended they will have hospitalizations and disruption in their lives.” Hudak noted that, in response, “Community Counseling Center (CCC) and Cape County schools formed a partnership because we realize that some children schooled on the campus at Cottonwood are put at risk when they try to transition back to regular school settings.” Cottonwood children in the Day Program who receive education on site at Cottonwood, gradually transition back to regular school. When children at school return each day to Cottonwood, they meet individually with a therapist to process events of the day and extend assistance if needed.

On average, children at Cottonwood remain in treatment close to the entire school year so that they can complete a full school year. The most at risk children require attention and service. Hudak said that, characteristically, children are seen by many providers and continuity in services is lacking. Dr. Robinson’s vision and plan is for staff at Cottonwood to commit to the children 5 or 6 years, and that children who leave Cottonwood may return for further treatment when needed. “Services will be provided by the same physician, the same therapist, and the same staff; all working together for continuity of care. Instead of building concrete walls around them, we want to build walls of people around them; the same providers along the way because this stability makes treatment better and, in turn, makes the kids feel safe. Our ultimate goal is continuity of care involving the psychiatrist, therapists, case managers, and other professionals.”

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) continues to support the transition to privatization. Cottonwood property includes 6 buildings: An administration building and 5 cottages. Two cottages will be used for children in residents. A third cottage will be used to house a Day Treatment program. Options for utilizing the remaining two cottages are being considered.


December 16, 2014 

Cape Rotary and Perryville Rozier's Mercantile Company Donate Shoes to Children at Cottonwood

 A True Christmas Story – It all started in the late 1980s when Cottonwood Residential Treatment Center was established in 1987 and operational for housing 40 children ages 6-18 who struggled with psychiatric disorders and/or severe emotional disturbances. According to Cottonwood Quality Assurance Coordinator, Marylene Elliott, “Oftentimes, these children entered Cottonwood wearing shoes that were either too large or too small to fit their feet. The 1980s was an era when kids could be ‘cool’ if they wore certain types of shoes, and this was important for Cottonwood children too."

Cindy Gaines, Education Liaison at Cottonwood sent a letter of need to many local shoe stores requesting help with supplying shoes for Cottonwood children. When Charles (Charlie) Lottes read the letter, he knew that he wanted to help. As a co-owner of the locally owned Rozier’s Mercantile Company in Perryville, he responded on behalf of the Mercantile. Not only did he respond, but he offered to provide shoes at no cost for Cottonwood children. Ms. Elliott noted that Cottonwood requested tennis shoes for the children because they needed them for recreation therapy and other play activities. However, the story does not end there.

For 20 years, Rozier’s Mercantile Company donated shoes at no cost to Cottonwood. During the early years, there were 17 or 18 children residing at Cottonwood. Charlie knew that he always wanted Cottonwood children to have shoes at Christmas, but in 2009 when Cottonwood’s census rose and the cost of tennis shoes soared to $1,740, he decided to solicit financial assistance from various local organizations to help pay for the shoes. The Cape Girardeau Rotary stepped up to the plate and voted Cottonwood as their “charity of choice”. With the exception of this year, every year thereafter the Rotary donated $500 towards the purchase of tennis shoes from Rozier’s Mercantile Company. Because the current maximum census allowed at Cottonwood is 16, this year the Rotary donated $250.

Cottonwood children receive their tennis shoes each year during a Christmas luncheon held at Cottonwood’s gym. This year, Karen Mayfield, Cottonwood’s Accountant and Interim Fiscal Administrator Manager, organized the Christmas luncheon. Interim Chief Operation Officer, Shawna Legrand, welcomed and thanked the Rotary for its charity throughout the years and thanked Cottonwood staff for assisting with the luncheon and the program, and for all of the help throughout the years with taking care of the children. Most of the children come from Southeast Missouri area, but Cottonwood can serve any child who meets criteria for admission.

After the luncheon, Dr. Dan Cotner played the piano while attendees joined Trudy Lee, SEMO Director of Planned Giving, in singing Christmas carols. Cottonwood’s Activity Director, Tony Martin, and Recreation Therapist, Jodie Rouse, led Cottonwood children in singing Christmas songs for the Rotarians. Each child then came forward to receive his or her brand new pair of tennis shoes. Rotary President, Kenneth Heischmidt, asked the children to collectively hold their tennis shoes high in the air so that everyone could see them. It was obvious by the looks and grins on their faces that the children were thrilled to have very fashionable tennis shoes, every pair being different in color and style; and shoes that fit their feet. A True Christmas Story repeated itself for nearly three decades, a tradition that the Rotary and Cottonwood want to carry on for many more years.


December 6, 2014 

Community Counseling Center Receives Thanksgiving Baskets From St. Francis Medical Center

Each year for 26 years Saint Francis Medical Center and its employees have generously donated 35 Thanksgiving baskets to families in need who reside in Community Counseling Center’s (CCC) catchment area (Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, and Ste. Genevieve Counties).These numbers translate into 910 Thanksgiving gift baskets having been donated.

Community Counseling Center (CCC) Community Support Workers (CSWs) and their Supervisors identify families in need of a Thanksgiving meal. The gift baskets are assigned to CSWs who deliver them to their respective families. Each basket contains a turkey, vegetables, dinner rolls, and a pie – enough for a family meal. Saint Francis Medical Center donates the turkeys; employees take up collections for the other basket items. This year, 33 adults and 30 children in Cape Girardeau enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, a meal that they otherwise would not have had. The donations offered by St. Francis Medical Center provided that opportunity for families. Overall this year, St. Francis Thanksgiving baskets fed 84 adults and 98 children in the five counties that CCC serves.

Monica Reagan, Supervisor of the Adult Psychosocial Rehabilitation program reports that she knows of a family that would not be able to afford a decent Thanksgiving meal for her and her family, and how grateful the family is for the kindness shown around the holidays. Children Intensive Level Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center (ISCPRC) worker Crystal Edwards stated, “One of the mothers was so very thankful and excited to the point that mom became tearful.” ISCPRC Misty Boyd and CSW Kacey Davis both reported how surprised and thankful families were to receive a Thanksgiving gift basket.

Several Community Support Workers indicated that many consumers’ Food Stamps have been cut from $500 to $100, which dramatically cuts into how much food they can put on the table, and oftentimes going without. Community Counseling Center (CCC) greatly appreciates St. Francis Medical Center and its employees for the many years that they have donated Thanksgiving baskets so that CCC consumers could have Thanksgiving dinners. 


December 9, 2014 

Teddy Bears Donated to Community Counseling Center Children's Program

Photo: Susan Jespersen, Leisa Blissett, Roger Jespersen

Leisa Blissett, Supervisor of Community Counseling Center’s (CCC) Children’s Comprehensive Community Rehabilitation Center (CPRC) Program had a real surprise when retired Pastor Roger Jespersen of Smith Chapel United Methodist and his wife Susan walked into the Center and donated 30 teddy bears to give to CCC child patients. Mr. Jespersen, a member of the Kiwanis organization, noted that the teddy bears were donated on behalf of the Jackson Kiwanis Club and the AKTION Club of Cape Girardeau County. Aktion Club is one member of the Kiwanis family of clubs and is a Kiwanis Club for adults living with disabilities.

Pastor Jespersen explained that the Kiwanis, an international volunteer organization, is currently partnered with UNICEF to eliminate maternal/neonatal tetanus. This deadly but preventable disease steals the lives of nearly 60,000 innocent babies and a significant number of women each year. In 2000 there were 59 countries where maternal/neonatal tetanus was a problem. Today there are 24 and 16 of the 35 countries have eliminated the disease since Kiwanis joined the effort in 2010. Kiwanis Clubs around the world are working on the project. Their goal is to raise $110 million. One avenue used to raise monies is the “teddy bear” project. Individuals “adopt a bear” by giving a donation to The Eliminate Project. The Kiwanis Club then donates the bears to organizations that serve children in the local community.

This year, as Ms. Blissett stated, “Community Counseling Center is blessed to receive these teddy bears. We could easily use 100 more.” David Bertrand, Emergency Service Specialist, who oftentimes assesses children in crisis, was elated when he saw the teddy bears. “I can really use some of these teddy bears. They’ll ease kid’s anxiety when I assess them. They are so soft. I know they will hold and squeeze them while they tell me what’s going on.” 


November 24, 2014

Community Counseling Center on-site Genoa Pharmacy Donates Food to St. Mary’s Cathedral Pantry

Photo: Chantel Dumey and Tabatha Morgan (Technicians); Whitney White, Pharmacist; and Heather White (Technician)

The on-site Genoa Pharmacy at Community Counseling Center (CCC) sponsored its 3rd annual food drive to help replenish the St. Mary’s Cathedral food pantry. Genoa Pharmacist Whitney White said that St. Mary’s Cathedral was chosen as the charity of choice because they found that many CCC clients benefit from their food pantry. In addition to Pharmacist White, three Pharmacy Technicians, Chantel Dumey, Tabatha Morgan, and Heather White assist with filling prescriptions for consumers and employees.

 Genoa Pharmacy staff asked Community Counseling Center (CCC) employees to donate non-perishable food items. For each item donated, employees were given an entry ticket for a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate from Target. This year’s winner was Diane Knight of CCC’s Medical Records Department. Pharmacist White stated, “As always, CCC employees were very generous. They filled six very heavy, large boxes and loaded six shelves full of food items.”  

_________________________________________________________________ November 24, 2014  

Community Counseling Center in Cape Girardeau and Fredericktown Offices Donate Clothing

Tara Messmer, Child Case Manager (left), Fredericktown CCC Office

 Vicki Oller, Office Manager (right), Fredericktown CCC Office

Community Counseling Center (CCC) employees in the Cape Girardeau and Fredericktown CCC offices donated warm clothing for CCC children and adult consumers who need them during the winter months. Supervisor Monica Regan, a member of CCC’s Activities Committee in the Cape office, and Vicki Oller, Office Manager in the Fredericktown office, organized the clothing drives. 

Cape Community Counseling Center (CCC) employees donated 30 coats, 15 pair of gloves, 10 scarves, and 3 hats. Fredericktown employees collected 7 large bags of coats, sweaters, and scarfs and gloves. Ms. Oller noted, “Some of our consumers are very limited financially and do not have family who can help provide them with clothing.”

CCC Case Managers inform staff if a consumer is in need of clothing and what sizes. Consumers either go to the offices to pick up the clothing or their assigned Case Manager takes it to them. Ms. Oller states, “They [consumers] like receiving the clothing. It makes them feel good because they are getting something new that they cannot afford to buy.”

Tara Messmer, Child Case Manager (left), Fredericktown CCC Office, Vicki Oller, Office Manager (right), Fredericktown CCC Office

Community Counseling Center (CCC) employees in the Cape Girardeau and Fredericktown CCC offices donated warm clothing for CCC children and adult consumers who need them during the winter months. Supervisor Monica Regan, a member of CCC’s Activities Committee in the Cape office, and Vicki Oller, Office Manager in the Fredericktown office, organized the clothing drives. 

Cape Community Counseling Center (CCC) employees donated 30 coats, 15 pair of gloves, 10 scarves, and 3 hats. Fredericktown employees collected 7 large bags of coats, sweaters, and scarfs and gloves. Ms. Oller noted, “Some of our consumers are very limited financially and do not have family who can help provide them with clothing.”

CCC Case Managers inform staff if a consumer is in need of clothing and what sizes. Consumers either go to the offices to pick up the clothing or their assigned Case Manager takes it to them. Ms. Oller states, “They [consumers] like receiving the clothing. It makes them feel good because they are getting something new that they cannot afford to buy.”


November 14, 2014

Community Counseling Center at Fredericktown Honors Its Veterans 

Four Fredericktown Community Counseling Center (CCC) veterans, Paula Polaski, Rosalie Truska-Elders, Christine Hafner, and Richard Strait were honored during a breakfast provided by twenty co-workers. CCC staff wanted to show their appreciation to the veterans for their sacrifices and the service they gave to our country.  The veterans were surprised and humbled by having breakfast served to them.

Christine Hafner earned the rank of E-7 and served in the Navy for 14 years. Christina joined the Navy so that “I could see the world.” Her tour of duty included Portugal, Spain, Greece, Africa, Bahrain, France, Italy, Turkey, Israel, and United Arab Emirates.  “I started from the bottom and worked my way up the chain of command.  No matter my rank, I always knew where I had come from and what it was like to be a junior member looking up to my superiors, and during the time I served I learned what it was to be a leader.”

Paula Polaski served 4 years in the Army and earned the rank of E-5. She was stationed at Ft. Lee, Virginia, and had a tour of duty in South Korea. 

Richard served in the Marine Corp and was stationed 3 years at Cherry Point, North Carolina where he earned the rank of E-3.

Rosalie served in the military for 6 years. She joined the Air Force and served two years of active duty as an assistant crew chief on the F-111F at Lakenheath, England.  “I absolutely loved the job, and my NATO training missions and the tour of duty to Spain gave me the chance to explore.”  After a 15 year break in military service, “I decided that I still had something to give so I joined the Navy Reserve. “ Rosalie  earned the rank of E-5 while serving two years as a squad leader over 250 detainees at Camp Bucca, Iraq. “I miss the comradery that the military lifestyle offers, and I’ve never worked anywhere else where you form bonds that last a lifetime.”

About Us