Ever since the first day the
“Making a Difference” column appeared in this magazine, I’ve been the fortunate beneficiary of notes in the mail, text messages and phone calls offering compelling suggestions for future columns. One of the very first calls came from my friend Catherine Freeman regarding the Trinity Counseling and Training Center, one of the outreach programs of Trinity Episcopal Church. Freeman is a passionate advocate for TCTC and, as such, asked if I would consider writing about it. Because mental health issues touch the lives, either tangentially or directly, of nearly everyone I know, I immediately agreed.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, issues involving mental health impact at least one out of every four adults and, alarmingly, one of every 10 children in this country. The need for accessible mental healthcare services is critical to the well being of any community, and TCTC’s mission is to address that need. I recently spoke to John Shalett, Executive Director of TCTC, to ask about the work they do. The range of services the agency provides and the diversity of the constituents it serves is vast. TCTC works with individuals, couples and families; it provides care to clients of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and it does so in a way that carefully considers the full scope of the varying needs of each person who walks through the door. In addition to counseling, TCTC is committed to providing superior training to future healthcare professionals. Just as a teaching hospital incorporates interns into its medical staff, TCTC takes on interns who are pursuing graduate degrees in counseling, clinical social work and marriage and family therapy.
I recently mentioned to Dr. Kendall Genre, a psychiatrist with a local practice, that I would be writing about TCTC. Genre noted the important role TCTC plays in the mental health community thanks to its commitment to a sliding fee structure and its wide range of services, including much needed psycho-educational support groups such as Care for the Caregiver. TCTC’s fee structure allows even those clients who are living at or below the poverty line to gain access to its services. Because the agency relies in part on funding from the church and outside donors, the average client fee is just $20 per hour – an amount well below the actual cost to the agency. For that reason, and for the outstanding quality of the care it provides, TCTC is making a difference to those in need.
Susan and Jimmy Gundlach
Meg and Will Baldwin
Heard something interesting for “making A difference?”
If so, please send it to: St. Charles Avenue,
110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 or email with the subject line “Making A Difference” Morgan@MyNewOrleans.com