Non-profit offers counseling in Jack County
veryone is in need of help at one point or another in their lives, but for rural Texas it can be hard to find the services needed, especially for mental health.
Affirming Texas Families Services, a non-profit counseling organization out of Bowie, began in January 2018 when the United Presbyterian Church of Montague County was generous to begin providing free rural mental health services. What started in 2018 became bigger as they hired salaried employees after a federal grant came in November 2019. The organization has been blessed to have little to no overhead, as the church allows them to have an office in their building and they meet with clients in their homes or another safe, neutral location.
ATFS Board Chair Jenny Rizzolo said even though they provide other services, they have a focus.
“We provide counseling services, that is our primary goal, and counseling services to victims of crime and also the extended family of those victims,” Rizzolo said. “We work very closely with law enforcement and referrals come in through, CPS for example.”
With the focus on mental health, there are still other aspects ATFS provides.
“We do also provide additional services such as parenting classes, financial assistant classes, you know how to budget — basic budgeting skills for people,” Rizzolo said.
With their counseling classes, Laura Taylor, one of the licensed counselors on staff, said they perform a wide variety of sessions.
“Our priority would be victims of crime, victims of trauma. We do everything from individual counseling to couples counseling, children or teens counseling — family counseling. We use a variety of therapies, whatever’s best for the client,” Taylor said.
Even though Affirming Texas Families Services is based in Montague County, they have expanded in to two other rural counties.
“We work in three counties — Young County, Jack County and Montague County,” Rizzolo said.
For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 8, edition of the Jacksboro Herald-Gazette.