By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
The NTMC Connections Outpatient Counseling Center was established to assist senior adults trying to cope with physical and emotional challenges.
Originally known as Inspirations Geriatric Counseling Program, the center was operated by a private company. Less than two years ago, the facility was purchased under the NTMC umbrella and renamed Connections. This move was beneficial to participants as it allows payments and reimbursements through Medicare Part B, Medicaid, most Medicare supplements and private insurance. The center can now meet the needs of more people and is a cost effective way to provide help for individuals that might be inclined to frequent the NTMC emergency room.
Located at 1615 Hospital Blvd., south of NTMC, the center has evolved into assisting a younger clientele with problems including drug and alcohol related challenges. DA and AA group meetings are scheduled on the premises.
Today, the center is a viable entity offering a professional team to help those in need in the Cooke County community. Seniors face many challenges as they cope with changes that are unique to an aging adult. Connections lists the following as frequent maladies: sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, helplessness, anxiety, loss of interest in normal activities, withdrawal or isolation, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, inability to function, frequent crying, memory problems and inattention to personal hygiene.
Rob Samsel is the Program Director at the Connection center. He is optimistic regarding the great strides the center is offering to the community. A graduate of Amberton University in Garland and father of five energetic boys home schooled by his wife, Samsel is dedicated to service. “I enjoy helping others and I hope that my sons see that.”
Samsel continued, “Although individual therapy is available to program participants, it is important for all to first be part of a group. In group therapy, under the guidance of licensed counselors, a person may realize that they are not alone. They see that there are others that may be experiencing the same thing.” By focusing on others and hearing about how other individuals have worked through similar problems, Samsel believes that this helps everyone.
NTMC has provided two vans to assist in transporting individuals to and from group meetings. The staff offers free assessments in the home to determine what treatment or therapy to custom fit the individual needs.
Connections is more than a name. It enables people to reconnect with themselves, with family, and with life. It gives them not only physical and emotional stimulus but helps to rekindle that “spark” that may have been lost along the way.
Although therapy is the primary objective, the staff makes sure that a positive atmosphere is part of the spiritual well being in the group meetings.
When asked about what he hopes for Connections Samsel said, “I hope that people will give it a chance. The center has much to offer the community and I urge anyone who needs assistance or knows someone with a need to call at 940 612 1200. We are here to help.”
Appropriately displayed on Samsel’s door are the words of an unknown author.
“Stop searching the world for treasure. The real treasure is in you.”