A new counseling service has found a home at 200 North Dewey St. — Janet Luzmoor Counseling, LLC.
Janet Luzmoor, along with family, friends and others who helped her get there, celebrated a ribbon cutting ceremony that marked the official opening Feb. 11.
Luzmoor said her expertise is directed at adults and couples in need of counseling. She said that she isn’t suited for severe conditions but is aiming at the “worried well.” “Worried well” is a term used to describe people who are generally healthy but believe they may be ill.
“In this day and age, there are more and more who can benefit from counseling,” said Kelli Morris, member of the Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation.
Luzmoor shares this new building with a massage therapy office, Therapeutic Massage of Maryville, and a speech therapy office, Luke Therapy Services, LLC.
The Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation helped Luzmoor get started with her own counseling practice. It is a nonprofit organization that offers free consultations to anyone who wishes to start a business.
Morris said they have helped 200 businesses in six counties since 2006. She said they started communicating with Luzmoor about this opportunity this past summer.
Luzmoor has worked elsewhere, but this is her first firm of her own. She said she has six years of mental health education, including master’s degrees in counseling psychology and communication and arts.
“I’ve had a wide variety of life experiences, and I think that helps me be a more well-rounded therapist,” Luzmoor said.
Luzmoor said she lived in the northwest Missouri area most of her life, except for during her schooling.
“To come back and do this here is special for me,” Luzmoor said.
Before Feb. 11 there were 16 counseling options in the Maryville area. Now that there are 17, it may seem like there are plenty, but President of Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville Nate Blackford said he thinks they are always open to more qualified providers.
“I think mental health is one of the most important issues that we have to address, nationally and our community as well,” Blackford said. “I think any time we can add to the number of mental health providers servicing our community, the better off we are.”
Blackford said we live in a time where the demand for mental health services is greater than the supply to serve those needs. He said adding another counseling service may relieve the pressure from Mosaic - Maryville or other entities in Maryville.
“I think collectively when we have more resources at our disposal, the better that is for our community and certainly for the patients who need those services,” Blackford said.
Hayston Wilson, Luzmoor’s son and a counselor at the Northwest Wellness Center, said he thinks this area is in need of more mental health options.
“As someone who grew up in rural northwest Missouri, I believe that there needs to be both more education and advocacy for mental health care in Maryville and the surrounding area,” Wilson said.
Wilson said there is a stigma against mental health care in rural communities. He said he believes if people in these communities understood what mental health care involved and looked like, they would be more open to it.
“So essentially, Maryville and the surrounding area need two things: education about mental health and access to care,” Wilson said. “Both of these things are slowly improving in our area but are generally still lacking.”
Wilson said he hopes this will also provide another option for students at Northwest.
He said Luzmoor may be a better fit to a Northwest student who doesn’t feel they are connecting to a counselor at Northwest. However, he did say the one downfall would be Northwest’s services are free to students, where they wouldn’t be there.
“Fit is so important in the counseling relationship,” Wilson said.
Wilson said that the only downfall is the services at Northwest are free, where they wouldn’t be at Luzmoor’s. He said that depending on the student, though, that may not be a big deal.
Wilson noted he is excited for Luzmoor’s opening in Maryville. Like Blackford, he said he thinks this can play a big part in providing a real need the community has while providing the resources needed to do so.
“It is nice to know that there are more resources in the area, especially for students who we may be working with at Wellness Counseling who have recently graduated but wish to stay in the area and continue counseling, and now we have a great local referral,” Wilson said.
Blackford attended Luzmoor’s opening as a member of the board of Maryville Chamber of Commerce and said he was happy to be there and have conversations with Luzmoor about her goals and mission.
Luzmoor said she hopes to have a warm, calm and comforting environment for her patients.
“We’ve seen an increase in symptoms of mental health issues recently in our nation,” Luzmoor said. “So having help for mental health is extremely important these days.”