AABP Award 728x90

Building for hope and healing


.floatimg-left-hort { float:left; } .floatimg-left-caption-hort { float:left; margin-bottom:10px; width:300px; margin-right:10px; clear:left;} .floatimg-left-vert { float:left; margin-top:10px; margin-right:15px; width:200px;} .floatimg-left-caption-vert { float:left; margin-right:10px; margin-bottom:10px; font-size: 12px; width:200px;} .floatimg-right-hort { float:right; margin-top:10px; margin-left:10px; margin-bottom:10px; width: 300px;} .floatimg-right-caption-hort { float:left; margin-right:10px; margin-bottom:10px; width: 300px; font-size: 12px; } .floatimg-right-vert { float:right; margin-top:10px; margin-left:10px; margin-bottom:10px; width: 200px;} .floatimg-right-caption-vert { float:left; margin-right:10px; margin-bottom:10px; width: 200px; font-size: 12px; } .floatimgright-sidebar { float:right; margin-top:10px; margin-left:10px; margin-bottom:10px; width: 200px; border-top-style: double; border-top-color: black; border-bottom-style: double; border-bottom-color: black;} .floatimgright-sidebar p { line-height: 115%; text-indent: 10px; } .floatimgright-sidebar h4 { font-variant:small-caps; } .pullquote { float:right; margin-top:10px; margin-left:10px; margin-bottom:10px; width: 150px; background: url(http://www.dmbusinessdaily.com/DAILY/editorial/extras/closequote.gif) no-repeat bottom right !important ; line-height: 150%; font-size: 125%; border-top: 1px solid; border-bottom: 1px solid;} .floatvidleft { float:left; margin-bottom:10px; width:325px; margin-right:10px; clear:left;} .floatvidright { float:right; margin-bottom:10px; width:325px; margin-right:10px; clear:left;}
One of the things I like best about retirement is having more time to visit my beautiful grandchildren. There is nothing like watching your child with her own children to remind you of your parenting days. The joys and challenges of raising a family make parenting the most vulnerable and rewarding of occupations.

That’s why I said “yes” last fall when I received a call from Dr. Ellery Duke, executive director of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center. I’ve known Ellery and been familiar with the good work of the center for years. I know from experience that during the challenging and vulnerable times of life, people sometimes need professional help. For those times, I am ever grateful that high-quality, affordable counseling is available at the center for people of all ages and from every walk of life.

Ellery wanted to talk to me about the increasing need in our community for quality, affordable counseling services, a situation being exacerbated by the economic slump we were heading into at that time. Most of us do not stop to consider that the mental and emotional health of Iowa’s children and adults is a key component in the productivity, strength and well-being of our families, communities and state.

The impact of mental illness in the United States has long been underestimated. More than 20 million adults suffer from depression, which exceeds coronary heart disease (7 million), cancer (6 million) and AIDS (200,000) combined.

The center started planning to meet this growing need several years ago. Its 7,200 square feet of leased space could not begin to accommodate the additional staffing required to meet the projected need for counseling services. The center did due diligence and a feasibility study and last year launched the silent phase of “The Campaign for Hope and Healing” to raise $3.6 million for a new center.

I gladly said “yes” to Ellery’s request to join the cabinet overseeing this campaign. I have come to understand that building a new permanent home for the center is the most fiscally sound approach to the future. The bricks-and-mortar component of the project represents the vision and long-term investment needed to expand and enhance services to the Central Iowa community. Plus, I know that retirement is a good time to give back to the community through volunteer service.

Demand for services at the center, especially for child counseling, remains very high. Calls for first-time appointments in the first quarter of 2009 were 40 percent higher than they had been in 2005, when the center began planning for growth. Regrettably, all of the child therapists have waiting lists. Without more space for more counselors, too many are going without care.

That is why I am excited to be working in my retirement with such a meaningful endeavor, and hopeful that others will step forward to help the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center reach its goal for groundbreaking yet this year.

Joyce Chapman is a retired banker and a community volunteer.

oakridge web 090123 300x250