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Prioritizing Mental Health

The Cabin Counseling & Resource Center Opens New Location in Lebanon

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Justin Sicking

Ask any mental health professional and they will likely tell you that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a mental health epidemic.

“It’s overwhelming the number of folks who are struggling with anxiety, depression and loneliness coming out of the quarantine,” says Deidra T. Rausch, executive director of The Cabin Counseling & Resource Center.

She notes that when going through events that are uncontrollable and unpredictable with no end in sight, anxiety can go off the rails.

“For two years we’ve persistently been in a state of unpredictability and uncontrollability,” she says. “Not knowing what’s next is really wearing on people.”

According to Rausch, suicide rates, particularly for those in their 20s, has grown exponentially. One silver lining is that there appears to be less stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues than in years past. The downside, however, is that with an increased demand, people are having a hard time getting in with a therapist. This is true all across the country.

“If someone says, ‘We can see you in three months,’ that doesn’t really help when you’re going through a dark time now,” Rausch says. “When someone needs care, it they have to wait more than a week to be seen, that feels unacceptable to me.”

The Cabin first opened in 1999. Through the years, as demand for services has increased, Rausch has added offices and therapists, going from 13 up to 24 currently. In January of 2021, she opened The Retreat on East Pine Street in Zionsville to provide affordable seminars and workshops for groups, versus one-on-one counseling.

In 2021 The Cabin counselors logged more than 11,000 counseling hours, up significantly from years prior to the pandemic. For instance, in 2019 they did 6,000 hours.

“The numbers have continued to supersede the year prior by 30 to 40% in terms of the demand,” Rausch says. “Just looking as an organization from year to year, the growth has just been mind-blowing and a little exhausting. When I ran expectations for next year, without including the newest therapists, we’re over 15,000 hours.”

Therefore, Rausch elected to open a fifth location in January of 2022 – this one in Lebanon.

“I think the excitement always is to try and satisfy both cost and access, which tend to be deterrents for people to get care,” Rausch says.

The goal at The Cabin is for all individuals, regardless of their financial situation, to receive care. They can utilize the Samaritan Fund, which pays the difference between the full fee and the calculated sliding-scale fee.

“The person is more important than the bottom line,” Rausch says. “I don’t want to worry about whether we are making enough money. I want to concentrate on helping folks achieve their optimal mental fitness.”

The Cabin utilizes different modalities including adventure therapy, expressive arts therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, a technique that serves to greatly reduce anxiety brought on by a traumatic event.

“I think with the trauma of COVID-19 and isolation, it just really triggered a lot of those early life adverse events that folks have had,” Rausch says.

They also have an Enneagram coach, who works with companies and families to help them better understand one another’s strengths to work more productively and effectively as a team.

Soon after opening The Retreat, Rausch found that though they could cultivate great programming, what people really wanted was to share their needs with the staff and have them create programming to meet those needs. That will be their goal in the new location as well.

“In Lebanon, we will continue to listen to the needs of the Lebanon community so we can become an integral part of helping them have a healthy mental-health community,” says Rausch, who suspects that though The Cabin is well-known for one-on-one, couples and family therapy, their ability to provide wellness programs is lesser known.

“I think the pandemic has caused business owners to recognize that whether their employees were previously extroverts or introverts, both are struggling now to engage with other humans,” Rausch says. “There was a negative mental-health effect with quarantines, Zooming and isolation. Corporations are recognizing that they need to attend to behavior needs of their employees if they want to have a productive employee.”

The Cabin joined the Boone County Chamber of Commerce and in November staff presented at a breakfast called “Better You in ’22,” which was all about making sure women are mindful of taking care of their own needs and not just everyone else’s. Following the presentation, The Cabin staff were approached by a number of people asking if they could come to their businesses to provide training and workshops.

“We’re eager to participate in company and corporate opportunities,” Rausch says. “We are all about being a partner in helping folks achieve their best mental fitness.”

For more information and location details, visit thecabin.org.

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