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BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

Helping people who experience mental health challenges, addictive issues, violence or other trauma reconcile the past, gain control of their lives and embrace the future with hope.

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Client Story

Teen feared he’d never be adopted.
Spokane Clinician helped him change his story.

Bill* was a  teenager with autism who received services at LCSNW Spokane in 2023 due to problematic sexual behavior. Bill had conflicts with every adult in his life and was lonely living in a group home. Things seemed to be getting worse; he was thinking and acting in more antisocial ways.

Eventually he opened up to his Clinician, Ryan Marsh, about a deep fear that he would never be adopted.

Bill had been in foster care as long as he could remember. He knew very little about his biological family. He knew he had experienced a lot of neglect. He had been placed with a few foster families over the years, but “something always went wrong.” Even though he was not optimistic about the future, Bill showed up and worked hard in therapy to learn new skills.

One day Ryan unexpectedly received a call from a state social worker, who reported a family was interested in fostering to adopt. They had found Bill’s profile on an adoption site and “knew instantly he was going to be part of our family.” One of the parents had extensive experience supporting youth recovery, and the other parent was living (and thriving) with autism spectrum disorder.

Ryan was excited for Bill but also nervous that it might not go well again. “I had so many mixed feelings about this prospective family. Would they really be as good as they seemed? Would they abandon him? Would he be safe?” Ryan recalled thinking.

Over a period of months, the family demonstrated that they were ready to have Bill join their household, and Ryan helped Bill adjust to this change. Ryan said goodbye to Bill just before he headed to the airport to join his new family in another state. Bill has stayed in touch, sharing photos of civil rights leaders he has met and historical sites he has visited. Bill looks happy and mature, and his parents look very proud.

“There was a lot of difficult work between first meeting the family and when I waved goodbye to my client,” Ryan said. “But by the time they drove off, there was no doubt that he was part of a wonderful family.”

* Bill is not the client’s real name.

Pictured above: Ryan Marsh, a Clinician for LCSNW Spokane, uses plants in his therapy sessions with young people.  “If a plant is struggling, we don’t blame the plant, we change the environment so that it can thrive.”

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Staff Profile

Carolyn Waite

Carolyn is a shining example of an LCSNW employee who continues to learn and grow in her career and in her care for clients. She’s a Mental Health Counselor at our offices in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where she has worked since 2016 in various roles, starting as an undergraduate intern. Now she is preparing to test for her Licensed Clinical Social Worker credentials.

“Since starting my career in the mental health field I’ve enjoyed getting to know the families and individuals I get the privilege of working with and helping them recognize their strengths and see the possibility of positive change in their lives,” she said.

Carolyn works with adults and youth on whatever problems or symptoms they want to focus on addressing through counseling. 

“When I’m not in my office drinking copious amounts of tea and working with clients, I also choreograph dances and coach our local competitive dance team.” She also enjoys spending time hiking in the hills of Klamath Falls, sometimes with her cat, Buttercup.

Intern Profile

Joel Bowder

Joel is completing an extended Clinical Mental Health Counseling internship in our Yamhill County, Oregon, District. He works with individual clients and co-facilitates a men’s weekly domestic violence therapy group.

 

“I look forward to seeing the people I get to work with. The entire team has been so supportive and helpful, and I’m continually blown away by the kindness, professionalism, and care extended to each other and the people we get to serve,” Joel said.

 

“I also enjoy working with clients who are feeling stuck and needing help to move forward in their lives in a healthier way.”

 

Joel has lived in McMinnville for over a decade and is finishing up his master's in counseling at Western Seminary in Portland.

 

“I’m inspired by helping others and making a positive impact on their lives.”

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By the Numbers

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3,600

Behavioral Health Clients (Portland/
Vancouver) 

301

Adult counseling clients (Greater Puget Sound)  

2,117

Outpatient clinical mental health clients (Spokane, Yamhill County, Klamath Falls) 

421

School-based mental health clients
(Tri-Cities and
Yamhill County) 

35 

PER MONTH 

Juvenile Justice Center mental health clients (Tri-Cities) 

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254

Substance Use Disorder clients (Klamath Falls
and Portland) 

1,264

Crime victims' services clients (Spokane, Portland/Vancouver 

4,674

Crime victims' legal advocacy hours provided (Spokane, Portland/Vancouver) 

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“My mental health professional is significantly helping me with my needs and goals. She is intuitive, empathetic, and I am able to speak to her in my first language and connect well.” 

Mental Health Client
Portland, Oregon

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