The Need: Counseling helps people move through difficult experiences more quickly, but the expense of counseling is a luxury many folks can’t afford. Options for sliding-scale counseling in Waco are extremely limited. This is particularly true with regards to pastoral counseling (counseling provided by clinicians with specialized training in the role of religion and spirituality in mental health).
We have a particular concern for public school teachers, social agency workers, and ministers. These people serve our community in jobs which are typically high stress, and often low pay. We all benefit when these public servants are able to bring their best gifts to their work.
Our Solution: We decided that the best way to address this need was to subsidize the work of counselors in town who have already demonstrated that they are good at their work, and who have shown their knowledge of and respect for the spiritual and religious dimensions of life. So, rather than create some sort of organization with a ton of overhead, we will simply be subsidizing fees so established therapists can work with more low fee clients.
In In the Spring of 2004 Dr. Wes Eades talked with a few friends and colleagues about the lack of affordable pastoral counseling services in Waco. The group agreed that the cost of counseling can be prohibitive even for folks who earn a decent income. Health insurance helps some people, but choices can still be limited by high deductibles or by the list of counselors available through a particular insurance program. Also, with the closing of the only pastoral counseling center in Waco, concerns have been raised about how to meet the needs of persons who wish to see a counselor trained specifically in how issues of faith, religion, and spirituality fit into the needs of clients.
Those friends and colleagues agreed to become the initial board of directors of the Waco Foundation for Mental Health Care. Articles of Incorporation were drawn up and submitted to the State of Texas and the IRS. We received our 501(c)3 status in March, 2005, and began to solicit donations from individuals and private foundations. In January, 2009, the board changed the name of the organization to the Waco Partnership for Psychological and Spiritual Care (WPPSC)
An important principal of this WPPSC is SIMPLICITY. WPPSC does not own any buildings or equipment. WPPSC will reimburse the therapist the difference between what the client can afford to pay and a modestly profitable fee. Dr. Eades is the primary therapist for the first season of this new endeavor. Wes and the members of the board want to develop the model and address any practical issues which arise before inviting additional clinicians to participate.
A second important principal is GENEROSITY. Although we will have processes that encourage persons to take appropriate financial responsibility for their counseling, we recognize that there are limits to how much control any clinician can have over financial disclosure. Clients requesting financial aid are asked to provide basic financial information so that affordable fees can be established. We will not limit the number of sessions that an individual can have at the subsidized rate. If counseling is long term, clients will be asked to re-evaluate their financial situation every six months to see if the fee needs to be adjusted upward. The low end of the sliding scale is $45. The board will consider lowering this amount if donations are strong.
If you share our concerns and goals, then we invite you to support WPPSC with a donation (How to Contribute)