Naomi’s Story of Hope

I work in the Screen Printing / Embroidery Department at Catalyst Life Services.  My dream job at Catalyst is to be a Counselor Assistant at New Beginnings.  To be an agent of change. To maybe help someone like me.  New Beginnings started my road to recovery and I would of never known about this place if it weren’t for my Vocational Specialist, Josh Jewell.  He took me to Rehab twice and didn’t leave until he knew I was sure of myself.  Recovery is my life – as I am finding my old self and getting my family / my boys back.

I am currently waiting on a liver transplant due to my alcoholism.  Unfortunately, the doctors telling me “quit drinking or die” didn’t help me.  Thankfully, Josh and my two stays at New Beginnings planted a seed in my recovery and I can proudly say I’m still on that road.

Here is a short version of my story:

The corner stone of my alcoholism is in April 2008 when I suffered a stillbirth.  I was not able to handle this loss, so I turned to a vodka bottle which led me to lose custody of my two sons.  I was not ready to admit I had a problem and continued to still get up every morning and go to my job at Burger King.  I was what my mom calls a “Functioning Alcoholic”.  I continued to do this job until 2019.  My mom and oldest son (who was in the custody of my Mom) saw me become self-destructive even though I would never admit that I had a problem.

I was transferred to Kenton, OH for my job and met a man who I thought wanted to help me. He took over my life by controlling my every move.  He took everything I loved away from me.  I did not see it that way and would not until after my second stay at New Beginnings.

While at New Beginnings, I learned a lot about myself.  However, upon release, I allowed him to take control back.  I lost jobs because of his actions toward my employers.  With the help of one great Catalyst employee and my mom, they made me see I needed to get away from him.  I got a second chance at New Beginnings again but upon leaving early, I fell back in the trap.  Yes, I had stopped drinking, but I still allowed him to control me.

About 6 weeks ago, he left to go take care of his son in Marion, OH.  I finally began to feel better about myself but not totally.  It was not until he came into our apartment while I was at work and took about everything, including my total paycheck out of the bank, that I knew I had to take action.  I called my mom and she convinced me to call the police and file a report which I did. With the help of my mom and Catalyst, I am now on the right path.  I am taking baby steps to be able to get my life back and be the person I am meant to be.

Catalyst has given me a great opportunity with a great job that I love.  My previous job experience was fast food and now I am learning something new.  They are helping me become better and they care about me enough to help.


Naomi Syx is a current Progress Industries employee. She was so happy to share how New Beginnings and the services at Catalyst helped plant the seed of hope and gave her the tools needed to start the journey of recovery.

 

May News

Did you Know?

The average individual waits 11 years to get mental health support and services. You don’t have to wait!

Call 419-756-1717 between 7:30am – 9:30am, Monday through Thursday, for Open Access! If you are in need of Mental Health or Substance Use Services, Open Access will allow you to be assessed by a Clinician that very same day! 

To learn more about our Open Access hours click HERE.


Nicole Kimble, the Adult Mental Health Program Director, shares about the mental health services offered by Catalyst and why it is important to bring awareness to mental health during mental health month and beyond.


Wellness Wednesday


This event is open to the community and is entirely free! Come to the event if you are:

– Looking for mental health supports or desiring to maintain wellness
– Curious about telehealth services
– In need of support for family members
– Interested in vocational services
– Interested in substance use treatment options

Narcan Training: 12:45pm & 4:30pm
**Dr. Bocka and Catalyst staff will be presenting hands on Narcan training with kit, answering questions about addiction, and providing hope.

Free COVID Vaccination Clinic: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
**the vaccine clinic will have an ASL interpreter available for the entire time.

*Parking is in the back of the building.
For questions or to RSVP for the Narcan training, call 419-774-6710


Open Interviews for Counselor Assistants


Catalyst Life Services is expanding their services and has increased opportunities for Counselor Assistants. These positions are ideal for individuals looking to grow in the field of mental health and drug and alcohol services. Under general supervision, the Counselor Assistant provides crisis intervention, phone services, initial access
services and mental health/AOD assistance (including monitoring self-medications and daily living skills) to clients in our residential treatment facilities.

Our Counselor Assistants receive extensive training, coupled with hands on learning from highly experienced Counselors and Therapists. Training dollars available to assist individuals with obtaining their CDCA.

Full-time, 40 hour a week positions are available, as well as part-time positions.
Shift differential is given for 2nd and 3rd shift as well as on the weekends.
*Qualifications: High school diploma, auto insurance, and an Ohio driver’s license with an acceptable driving record required.

If you are interested but unable to attend either of the open interview
slots you can call or email:
Trena Jacobs @ 419-756-1717
trena@catalystlifeservices.org
or
Mandi Whitlatch @ 419-526-6102
mandi@catalystlifeservices.org


Mental Health for Deaf & Hard of Hearing


Free Mental Health/AOD training opportunity on live webinar on the following dates: 5/7, 5/21, 6/4, 6/10, 6/25.  The training, Providing Culturally Appropriate Mental Health Care to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals was made possible by a grant through the Ohio Department of Mental Health.  This training has 6.5 CEU’s.


Community Support


Congratulations to our vocational department for once again being awarded the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) contract for youth services. These funds, totaling over $353,000, go toward helping youth with barriers reach their employment and educational goals.

Click Here WIOA Richland County on Facebook

We are so proud of our vocational department and all the amazing work they do!


Stay Safe Together


Catalyst staff wore blue to work on April 14th in support of April being National Child Abuse Awareness Month.  Richland County Children Services theme this year is “Staying Safe Together”. The most important thing we can do to help children thrive is to support families before they reach a crisis.

February News

Did you Know?

The 30th Annual Catalyst Rehab Telethon was a huge success!

We went off-air at $115,000 and have now received more than $123,000 in pledges! We are so thankful to ALL who were involved!


30th Annual Catalyst Rehab Telethon raises over 123,000 and counting!

Click the image above to read about the success of the Telethon! Hear from the CEO of Catalyst, Laura Montgomery, as she shares how grateful she is to the community and to all who were involved!


Melissa talks about the power of collaboration and philanthropy as she reflects on the incredible success of the 30th Annual Catalyst Rehab Telethon.


Telethon Success Stories

Click to watch these amazing testimonies of strength and perseverance as each one of these clients came to Catalyst with a specific need and desire to be the best they could be.


Open Access


Call into Catalyst between 7:30am – 9:30am, Monday through Thursday, for Open Access! If you are in need of Mental Health or Substance Use Services, Open Access will allow you to be accessed by a Clinician that very same day! 


Community Support


The 15th annual “Will Tube for Food” event to benefit Catalyst Life Services, was held at Snow Trails Vertical Descent Tubing Park during Glow Tubing on Wednesday, Jan. 20th. Click to read more about this successful event! 

Click the image above to read about the passion and generosity of a woman, the collaboration of many and the power of a purse.

Snow Trails “Will Tube for Food”!

The 15th annual “Will Tube for Food” event to benefit Catalyst Life Services, was held at Snow Trails Vertical Descent Tubing Park during Glow Tubing on Wednesday, Jan. 20th.

Every person who participated in this event donated a non-perishable food item at check-in. Snow Trails also donated $5 from each tubing ticket purchased to further benefit Catalyst Life Services.

“We are excited to once again welcome families to Snow Trails for this great benefit,” said Nate Wolleson Marketing Manager. “We began this event back in 2006 when the Tubing Park first opened and really enjoy providing families a fun night out, while also making a charitable donation to give back to our local community,” he added.

“Will Tube for Food” was sold out quickly with a total of 400 tubers in 2-hour increments. Tubers had a fun-filled evening, boxes of non-perishable food items were contributed, and $2,000 was donated by Snow Trails to Catalyst Life Services. We are so grateful to Snow Trails for continuing to host this event and helping us to serve our community.

The Power of a Purse

Ronni Gaines visited the New Beginnings women’s residential treatment facility, with the goal of blessing others. The women there were recipients of items and products that most people take for granted, as well as the knowledge that they are loved, and others care for them.

Ronni donated 18 beautiful purses filled to the brim with hygiene items, toiletries, and dental products. This idea came to her one day as she was reading a women’s magazine and saw a lady who had donated over 6,000 purses to individuals in need. Ronni wanted to be the difference and started to ask those around her if they would be able to help gather items. She put her idea up on Facebook and was met with enthusiasm and generosity as support started to pour in.  

“I want to thank Dr. Marissa Miller, DDS from Shelby who donated all the dental hygiene items. The Avon lady, Connie Roub, donated some purses. Thank you to Theresa Cronenwett at Kuttin Korner, Jeanine Friebel at Dream Huge Realty, Jodie Friebel Gumbert at K & S Bent N Dent and Kathy Couts who also donated items.” Ronni said gratefully.

Many individuals collaborated to get these items to New Beginnings including ladies at a garage sale who heard what Ronni was doing and donated boxes of toothbrushes. So many individuals stepped up when the need was presented.

“It all started with my niece, Ashley Gaines who passed away from her heroin addiction. She was so young at age 22,” Ronni shares. “She was living on the street even though she had a home to live in. It’s hard to think of people who are struggling that way. I just want to do what I can.”

Ronni continues to find healing in helping others and even practices self-care by doing what she can for those in need. She admits that she feels the best, both physically and emotionally, when she is able to do things for others.

Elaine Surber, Executive Vice President & Director of Substance Use Disorder Services, is Ronni’s life-long friend. The preciousness of Ronni’s gift was even more impactful to Elaine as her and Ronni were able to reconnect after Ronnie reached out via social media to ask how she could help New Beginnings.

“This is the second time Ronni made a donation.” Elaine explains. “The first time she brought in beautiful clothes that brought great joy.” Elaine saw the effect of Ronni’s generous spirit first-hand as resident’s faces lit up when the gorgeous, professional clothing was distributed. 

Mandi Whitlatch, Supervisor of Substance Use Disorder Residential Services shared, “Many times, New Beginnings is an afterthought and people give leftovers or unwanted items. Donations that are meaningful and are actually clothes they would choose to wear are very impactful.”

Mandi stated that the women liked these clothes so much, they even shared some outfits and had certain days assigned to wear them. These women were so excited for the opportunity to have something nice and something they were proud of. The clothes, purses, and the hygiene items made many women very happy and they have Ronni Gaines to thank for that.

Art is Healing

Jen Lemon believes that art is an important component to the healing process involved in recovery from addiction. Because of this belief and her passion to help, she has and continues to donate art supplies to the New Beginnings II art group. This group is held every week at NBII, a female-specific Catalyst residential facility for addition recovery.

Jen shares,”I feel it is important to have the creativity and art in recovery so you can work through issues as you are creating. Art can be so uplifting and those in recovery have something to show and be proud of.”

The art supplies were donated partly through Fusion Church as well as ‘addiction recovery’ funds from the Charity Blitz at Black Iron Fitness in Lexington. Jen was able to purchase paints, canvases, and other art supplies for various art projects created every week.

“My son Nick  loved to be creative and I know that helped him during his SUD,” shares Jen. “Unfortunately we lost him almost four year ago, so his love for art lives on. My hope for the clients is this helps on their road to recovery and opens doors for them as well.”

Olivia Pidgeon, a Catalyst Peer Supporter, has her own personal recovery story that equips her to support clients utilizing Catalyst treatment services.

“I believe that in order to truly find yourself, you need to step out of comfort zones that restrict you from growth,” Olivia says. “I did not discover art until I became sober. I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone and dive into a world of paint while I was in treatment. It was there, in my creativity, that I began to love myself and reveal my true potential.”

Olivia is currently the leader of the art group at New Beginnings II and uses the class as a tool to help clients express themselves in a variety of ways. This class has helped many individuals to work through trauma and the healing process in very special and impactful ways.

“We are so thankful for Jen and Fusion Church for their giving hearts. Jen has had a huge impact on my life personally and continues to touch every individual she interacts with,” Olivia beams.

Thank you Jen Lemon, for helping provide tools in the process of healing!

To our Case Managers

Thank you for all that you do!



Jamie Starkey supervises adult and child case management staff and wanted to share:

“Case managers are an important part of our agency. They are the eyes, ears and voice in the community for our consumers. Case managers have continued to serve throughout this pandemic. They have made sure that our consumers have the things they need and continued to connect people to resources and agencies. Our case managers are one of many treatment team members at Catalyst and are out there helping every day. I think of case managers as the oil of the car- it is needed to run successfully.

My case workers are patient, kind, caring, good listeners, teachers, helpers, coordinators, and help people connect with crucial resources.”

Jamie Starkey, Case Manager Coordinator






Nicole Kimble supervises the ACT case management staff and would like to share:

“The case managers always go above and beyond going out in the community, being the needed support for clients and to assure their needs are met. The case managers truly care about those they serve and it shows in their work. I am so appreciative of all that they do and the great client care that they provide is a big part of the agency.”

Nicole Kimble, Adult Mental Health Program Director






Mandi Whitlatch and Deanna Roberts co-supervise the AOD case management staff and share:

“Our case managers are the consumers’ advocates in the community. While we developed a way for people to work from home, the case managers continued to take people into the community, shopping for them and providing daily supports to those on their caseloads. They have had to be very resourceful to meet the needs of the clients.”

Mandi Whitlatch, SUD Residential Supervisor

“I don’t know if I can truly put into words and express the gratitude and appreciation I have for our case managers! They have selflessly continued to provide quality care and support for clients, taking them shopping in the community and ensuring that their other safety needs are meant during this time of uncertainty. For some clients the only support they have is their case manager. Thank you for your professionalism and dedication to the clients and agency.”  

Deanna Roberts, Counselor/Peer Recovery Coach Coordinator






Tanya Haga supervises the Deaf Services Case Manager and shares:

“One of the unique services that Catalyst can provide is case management services for those who use American Sign Language as their first language. This allows for advocacy and community supports that also include access to services due to language difference and the need for sign language interpreters.” 

Tanya Haga, Director of Deaf Services



November News

Did you know?

The Catalyst Rehab Telethon first started in 1992 at WMFD TV.  This year is the 30th annual Rehab Telethon! Over these past 29 years we have raised $2,498,016!


What is your role and how long have you been involved with the Telethon?

This will be the 6th year that I will be serving in the capacity as Chairperson for the Telethon – the last three years and I also had a stint of a similar time frame years before.  In various capacities, be it fundraising, participating as a host and as a donor, I have been part of this event for at least the last fifteen years or so. 

What made you choose to get involved/why are you passionate about this cause?

 Providing critical physical and behavioral healthcare programs for our community has to be our number one priority, as we can bring about positive changes in the lives of so many.  Catalyst Life Services plays a vital role in our area to provide much needed services. 

How is this year different than previous years?

This year is special, it marks the 30th anniversary of this successful event.  This year we will bring the community together virtually to allow for social distancing guidelines set by the state. It’s ironic, we are going to a taped, studio setting made possible by the great people at WMFD-TV, just like the first year back in 1992!  We will still have entertainment and check presentations and community guests but it will be handled remotely or in some cases pre-recorded. 

Why is donating to the Telethon more important this year than ever?

The need is ever greater, given the physiological and psychological toll the pandemic is taking on our daily lives.  We hope this event will continue to help fill in the funding gaps for those in need especially this year as mental health concerns and substance use continues to rise during this uncertain time.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

There is no greater feeling in this world than the satisfaction of helping others by giving generously!  We are very appreciative to the longtime donors that have faithfully supported this long-standing event and look forward to attracting new donors this year.


The 30th Annual Catalyst Rehab Telethon is officially set for Saturday, February 6, 2021! Your help is needed now more than ever and we hope to make the 30th Anniversary of the Catalyst Rehab Telethon a great success!  Since 1992, the Telethon has helped to ensure that The Rehab Center (now part of Catalyst Life Services) can continue to provide services to individuals in need throughout North Central Ohio. Since we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to eliminate the in person celebration at the Richland Mall this year but will continue the tradition as a televised production so you can still “Watch it Happen” on WMFD-TV all day from 11am -8pm. We will celebrate 30 years of the Catalyst Rehab Telethon and hope you will tune in!  We would appreciate if you would keep us in mind as you plan for the year-end and/ or your 2021 charitable giving budget.  As the need for our services increases during this uncertain time, your donation will have a huge impact on providing life changing benefits to those in need.  You don’t have to wait until the Telethon – your contribution in any amount would be very appreciated. For your convenience, you may donate online by visiting www.catalystlifeservices.org/donate/.

Please contact Melissa Drozda at 419-774-6710 with any questions or if you would like to know about sponsorship opportunities!


A Catalyst Success


     “Aveon is going to accomplish great things in life, especially with his mindset and determination. There is nothing he cannot do!” shares Employee Specialist, Taylor Salisbury. Taylor has been Aveon’s Employment Specialist since November 2019. She has helped to find several job opportunities for him and has continued to remind him of the great potential his future holds.

    Aveon Grose is a client of Catalyst Life Services and started in the WIOA Program in June of 2019. He started the program with a mindset of wanting to better himself. Although he was only 15, we wanted to get a head start and learn how to earn and manage his own money.


    “The WIOA program has opened me up to new opportunities, pushed me forward and helped prepare me for the future,”Aveon says.

    Taylor Salisbury has worked to place Aveon on a worksite that would best fit his skills and interests. Aveon is currently working at the WIOA site: Black Belt Pro Fitness, a martial arts and fitness center. During the summer, Aveon participated in the Taekwondo program as a counselor. In this position, he taught young students the basics of Taekwondo. This experience helped him to look at things differently and he found himself working harder than he had before.

Aveon is now 16 and will be going into his junior year this school year. He has already been offered several college scholarships for football. Aveon shares that he is still considering these different college offers, but knows, no matter where he ends up, he will become a physical therapist. He desires to help other athletes and possibly act in the role of a Trainer.

    Aveon is currently in Driver’s Education, working to obtain his driver’s license. His schedule is also filled with football practices and games as well as track and basketball. Although his load is heavy, he has still managed to receive satisfactory grades in his high school classes. He also continues to meet with his employee specialist, Taylor Salisbury to stay on track to reach his goals.

    Aveon shares that the WIOA program has helped to shape and prepare him for the future. For those students who share the same desire as Aveon and want more for themselves, he encourages them to be the best they can be.
    “Continue to wake up every day, keep working and strive for better things,” Aveon says encouragingly.

    No matter what the future holds for Aveon, his determination and hard-work are bound to push him toward success and endless potential. And for those around him, may they see his example, believe in themselves and work for their dreams.


Holiday Tips


Click the image above to hear from the Director of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services, Tanya Haga. She shares many tips on how to gather safely for the holidays and better include individuals with hearing loss.


Helping Kids Cope with the Holidays During a Pandemic


This has definitely been a strange and stressful year for kids and families. The upcoming holidays are likely to be particularly challenging. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions:



1. Make your plans in advance, if possible, and tell your kids what’s happening, when and why. Kids can adjust to lots of changes, but uncertainty and indecision increases stress and anxiety.

2. Try and retain as many traditions as possible, even if in a modified form. Make an extra effort to connect by phone, Zoom or FaceTime with friends and relatives you’d normally see.

3. Consider cooking familiar dishes from past celebrations.

4. Make sure kids understand why this year is different and why people aren’t traveling as much as usual. Gear your explanations to their age and developmental level using words and concepts they can understand.

5. If kids get moody or frustrated, acknowledge their feelings in an open, honest and consistent manner. Let them know that lots of people are working hard to bring the pandemic to an end as quickly as possible and that they will be able to travel for the holidays and visit relatives at some time in the future.

*Tips created by David Fassler, MD, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.


The Executive Director, Erin Schaefer, shares some tips on how to stay mentally healthy during the holidays which can be a very stressful time for many.

*To find out more about help and hope for the holidays you can view a video created by the KnowitB4uneedit Campaign HERE.



“This group works together as a team to oversee compliance areas at the agency. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all that they do!”

– Denise Carson, Performance Improvement Director, Catalyst Life Services


Community Support


Thank you to the Women’s Fund for supporting our Women’s Residential Treatment Program. Support for this program was provided by a grant from the Richland County Foundation. The mission of the Richland County Foundation is to improve and enhance the quality of life in Richland County through strategic philanthropy and community leadership.

Additionally we would like to thank the following individuals:

Norm Shoemaker and Carl Neutzling on behalf of the Mid Ohio Area Labor Council AFL-CIO, for their donation of 2 picnic tables. 

Jai Merina for her donation of 2 picnic tables.

Kyle Bierly for her donation of new heavy duty bird feeders and bird seed. 


Eat for the Cause


Mark your calendar for Saturday, December 5th, 4-8pm!
By eating at Chipotle, you can support our cause!
Simply show them a virtual or paper copy of the flyer below or simply mention you are eating to support Catalyst Life Services! We will receive 33% of the proceeds! 

Mark your Calendars!


Richland Gives is a time of community collaboration as individuals and businesses come together to support the mission and work of Richland County non-profits. 

You can view our page and donate to Catalyst Life Services HERE.

Let’s Make This Holiday Season Inclusive, Especially During This Difficult Year

The holiday season is a wonderful time of family gatherings, parties, and programs. However, this time can be frustrating and even lonely for individuals with a hearing loss. Here are a few tips to help make the loveliest time of year inclusive for all. If you are able to gather safely with family who have a hearing loss, please remember these tips:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Don’t cover up your month, use a clear face mask or shield so your mouth can be seen
  • Get someone’s attention before trying to talk to them
  • Make sure to be clear about the topic of the conversation before talking about the topic
  • Maintain eye contact throughout the conversation
  • Make sure to face the individual the entire conversation, don’t turn your face away when talking
  • Be sure to not cover your mouth with your hands, coffee mug, etc.
  • Avoid over exaggerating your mouth when you speak – this will make it more challenging to understand what you are saying
  • Speak naturally – there is no need to yell because that just changes your mouth movements and therefore makes it harder to understand
  • If the individual doesn’t understand what you said: don’t become frustrated or angry, don’t just brush it off by saying something like “never mind”, and don’t isolate the individual from future conversations. Instead, rephrase what you said to allow for another chance for understanding.
  • Be sure to converse away from background noise
  • Be sure to converse in an area with good lighting so your face can be seen

Tanya Haga is the Director of Deaf Services and has worked at Catalyst Life Services since 2014 in this role. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in American Sign Language Interpreting, a Master’s of Education and Master’s in Business Administration. She is also nationally certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Tanya’s responsibilities include management and oversight of interpreting, captioning, case management for clients with a hearing loss, sign language classes, summer youth program, and contract and grant projects.

Staying Mentally Healthy During the Holidays

“Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, let your heart be light….”

A beloved holiday classic, this song can conjure up all kinds of positive memories of Christmases past.  Indeed, the holiday season is often full of warm memories, family gatherings, work parties, and general positive cheer.

However, the holidays are not festive and cheery for all.  For some, they represent painful memories or reminders of loved ones no longer here.  For still others, the holidays represent added stress of more to do, more money to spend when there is no “extra” money, and more activities added to an already stressful schedule.

So how can one maintain good mental health during this “most wonderful time of the year”?  Here are some tips for managing stress and dealing with depressive/anxiety symptoms during this time:

  1. Remember the word “No.” Only you know when it is too much for you.  Taking care of yourself means setting limits and sticking to them.  When you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to step back and take a break.
  2. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Memories can be painful, and simple things can trigger memories when you least expect it.  A song, a smell, a phrase, or a sound can all be significant reminders.  When this happens, be gentle with yourself, embrace the significance of the moment, and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions it brings.
  3. Maintain a routine. One of the things the holidays can bring is chaos and craziness.  Maintaining as much of the normal routine as possible can help minimize the impact of the disruptions.  Routine stabilizes mind, body, and spirit as it grounds a person in what is known in the midst of the unknown.
  4. Limit alcohol use. When stressed, it is tempting to use alcohol as a coping mechanism.  However, alcohol use can lead to alcohol abuse and subsequent poor decision-making.  In addition, alcohol is a depressant and often leads to increased feelings of depression and sadness after significant use.  Limiting use to one or two drinks helps a person to maintain control and avoid complications normally associated with heavy use.
  5. Seek comfort from those who support you. There are those within our daily lives who provide emotional support and assistance.  Reach out to those you know you can count on, and let them know when you feel overwhelmed.  Asking for help allows others to know specifically what they can do to support you.
  6. Develop a budget. Knowing how much you have to spend for gifts for family, friends, and coworkers allows you to manage expenses.  This can also keep you from getting overwhelmed with surprise bills come January. If money is tight, get creative; make your own gifts or agree to spend time together instead of buying gifts. You make your own rules.
  7. Find time for rest and relaxation. Even in the midst of hustle and bustle, it is important to take time to catch your breath.  When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a break by doing things you enjoy, such as watching a movie, exercising, hanging out with friends, or reading.  Taking some downtime helps you recharge and rejuvenate yourself before the next set of activities.

If you find yourself having serious difficulties during or continuing to struggle beyond the holidays, there is help available.  Catalyst Life Services has a wide array of services available to address mental health, drug & alcohol, vocational, and many other issues.

Call Helpline at 419-522-HELP (419-522-4357) for information.  Contact us; we can help!

Erin Schaefer, IMFT-S, LPCC-S is the Executive Director at Catalyst Life Services.  She received a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pacific Lutheran University in 1997 and a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling in 2002 from the University of Akron.  Erin has worked in community mental health for over 20 years.  She was also director of Ashland Parenting Plus, a small nonprofit agency focused on teen pregnancy prevention, juvenile diversion, and parent education.  She served on the board and as president of the Ohio Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and also on the board of directors of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy from 2011-2013.  She has been a member of AAMFT since 1997 and is a Clinical Fellow