There’s a building on the Hamilton Healthcare System campus where many folks go to find peace of mind.

COUNSELORS - Kayelen Helton, Cathy Kolodziej and Liz Banks work with clients at Hamilton Healthcare System's Special Care Clinic.  Staff Photo

There they find three women who listen to their concerns, walk with them through their grief, depression or loneliness. They find counselors who care.

And that’s their name. The Special Care Clinic.

Kayelen Helton is the new Licensed Professional Counselor at the SCC and joins counselors Cathy Kolodziej and Liz Banks.

Together they work with clients who are referred by their physicians. A Special Care van often picks up clients for the day program and returns them home.

Helton, a Keller native who lives in Stephenville, previously worked with children, and is looking forward to a new challenge.

She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tarleton State University, which she attended on a full rodeo scholarship. She continues to compete at the national level in roping.

“My roping lends itself well to relating to clients,” she said. “For example, when I get a bad run, I have to let it go. I give myself a 15-minute window, then let it go. I don’t take it home with me, and I stay positive.

“My clients deal with so much more than that,” she said.

“I set goals in the arena and strive to achieve them, and I motivate my clients to set goals as well, to move forward, always.

“I guess my saying is, ‘get up, get moving, stay busy.’”

Liz, who comes from a trauma background, and Cathy, whose background is in education, also find goal setting and treatment plans vital in helping clients overcome grief, anxiety, bereavement, loneliness and social skills and communications problems.

Cathy is also licensed in chemical dependency.

The Special Care Clinic offers an intensive outpatient program offering behavioral health care for adolescent, adult and senior care, trauma therapy, outpatient substance abuse therapy, group and individual therapy and pharmacotherapy.

The senior care program is designed for patients 55 and older and addresses the unique needs associated with aging.

Cathy and Liz recently completed training to be facilitators for Alzheimers support and have taken on the local support group, which meets in the conference room in the SCC on the second Wednesday of the month at 2:30 p.m.

Anyone who cares for or just wants a better understanding of Alzheimers or dementia patients is welcome to the free meetings.

While the training was helpful for both and necessary to keep the support group going in Hamilton County, Liz and Cathy also have personal reasons to help others dealing with these diseases.

Liz lost her mother this summer to Lewy Bodies dementia, a form of Alzheimers; and Cathy lost her father to vascular dementia. Both know what it means to be a caregiver to a person with dementia.

“This training allows us to be affiliated with the Alzheimer’s Association, which provides flyers and reading materials and also includes us on its web site,” Liz said.

The group is whatever its members need, Cathy said. Sometimes that means guest speakers on specific topics like legal issues or reacting to behaviors. Other times it means sharing experiences and getting emotional support from others on the same journey.

“We start with discussions and see where it goes,” Liz said.

“We didn’t want to see the group fail because the facilitators quit coming,” Cathy said. “It’s in our field, but also personal to us.

“We’re happy Hamilton General Hospital agreed to let the group meet here. It’s a good community service.”

For more information about Special Care or the Alzheimer’s caregivers support group, call Kayelen, Liz or Cathy at 254-386-1800.

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The Hamilton Herald-News
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Hamilton, TX 76531

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