Mission East Dallas (MED) is thrilled to announce the expansion of their community health services with the addition of a new location, Sachse. This expansion is to allow for additional health support to the community, including medical social services and counseling. MED believes this expansion will greatly help in the organization’s commitment to the community and mission to improve public health.
Pre-COVID, MED’s counseling center already offered telehealth. This allowed them to easily transition during the pandemic. However, during the pandemic MED saw an increase in anxiety and stress among patients. This led to additional patients utilizing their social services as they realized they needed to get help. It was this increase in need for mental health services and psychiatry, coupled with the health center being maxed out in their current space, that makes this expansion key to the health of the community at large.
MED counselor Isabel Reynolds, who was recently invited by the Texas Community Health Association to be a part of the board over behavioral health, will be overseeing the counseling clinics at both locations. This additional location will have a focus on pediatrics, and Reynolds says this will make social work and counseling a vital piece of that expansion.
Reynolds always knew she wanted to get into counseling to help people. While working in the field as a Child/Protective Services worker, she obtained two masters degrees, including a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Master of Public Administration from National University. All of her experience has culminated to her work at MED, allowing her to bring counseling, social work, hospice expertise, hospital experience, and more together in one role. “The diversity of cases at MED has allowed me to provide a truly comprehensive level of care,” said Reynolds.
MED offers a unique service where medical, counseling, and social work overlap, providing a higher quality of mental health care for the community. “We won’t just give you a sheet and wish you luck; we follow up, help you find the right resource,” said Reynolds about MED’s critically important social services.
With an eye toward this expansion, MED added a clinical social worker (LMSW) to the team whose focus is on medical social work. While Reynolds will see clients for counseling, the social worker will be able to address issues related to substance use, food insecurity and homelessness.
Over the coming year, MED will also be working toward becoming a trauma-informed care center. “This will allow us to provide our patients with trauma-informed care to understand what trauma is, what triggers it, how to heal from it and more,” said Reynolds on the expansion of services. She is currently working toward higher certifications for EMDR and PTSD. Reynolds is also trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Reynolds is also highly versed in ADHD. Reynolds noted that the ability to diagnose and treat ADHD is not something that is commonly available at most community health centers for adults. She also said that she is a lifelong learner. Just recently she received an LCSW-S certification, allowing her to supervise LMSWs and expand the Mission East Dallas behavioral health team.