June Newsletter

Did you know?

Approximately 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss but only 1 in 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one!

Do you think you could benefit from a hearing test? Call Audiology Services at 419-756-1133.

Q&A with Dr. Wendy Page

1. What is your title and how long have you worked at Catalyst? 

I am a Doctor of Audiology, this is a clinical doctorate.  I have worked for The Rehab Center/Catalyst for 33 years.   

2. Can you share about some of the services that your department provides?    

We serve people of all ages.  My youngest was a premature infant, age -4 days and my oldest was 101 years of age. I provide hearing testing to determine the type and degree of hearing loss. Once the hearing loss is defined, I am able to give options for patients such as hearing aids or assistive listening devices to help them hear better and communicate more effectively.

  Technology recommended is specific to individual’s needs and lifestyle.  We offer the latest technology for hearing aids, including Bluetooth direct connectivity and rechargeable for sale. We also service many hearing aid manufacturer’s not sold through Catalyst.  We offer options for possible solutions and include family as often as possible so that patients can make informed decisions about their hearing.  We also work with local industries providing hearing testing that meets OSHA guidelines as well as in the schools.  Services are provided as a fee for service.  We accept many private insurances, self-pay, Medicare and Medicaid and Medicaid HMO’s.  

3. What do you think is something most people don’t know about Audiology Services or hearing loss in general?

Audiology Services are available to anyone; we are not county bound, we are not just for those who cannot pay or have Medicaid.  Hearing loss can occur at any age, but the incidence (percentage) of people that have hearing loss increases with age.  Only 1 in 5 people who needs  hearing aids wears them and people generally wait 7 years from the time that they think they have a hearing loss until they purchase hearing aids.  Hearing loss is a hidden limitation.  Hearing to listen is one of the most difficult skills we have, it is exhausting for those with hearing loss due to the extra effort.   

4. What do you like most about working at Catalyst?

I enjoy the people, patients and families I work with here.  I am shown how grateful they are in their smiles and (until recently) hugs.  There is this magical smile of peace and relief that the patients show when they hear again or for the first time; or the face of a baby when they hear their parent’s voices for the first time. I never tire of seeing these things happen.    

5. Is there anything else you would like to share?

Many people who are deaf and hard of hearing rely on lip/speech reading and facial expressions to help understand what the speaker is saying; when we wear masks it makes it so much harder for them to communicate effectively.  Patience and kindness would be welcomed and appreciated.  



Did you know?

Precise Services is a vocational program located at the Rehab Center for individuals with disabilities who are provided intensive training to perform quality work to ensure customer satisfaction.

Call  419-774-2201 to learn more!

Q&A with Barb Moore


Q1: What is your title and how long have you worked at 
Catalyst?

My title is Precise Services/Facilities maintenance – Director . I’m working on my 40th year.

Q2: What is Precise Services and what do they offer?

Precise Services is another one of our vocational programs serving the commercial customer for custodial and lawn care as well as residential customers with lawn care services. A number of our client employees have come through our workshops and have successfully attained and maintained employment with Precise Services. One of the things that I think makes Precise a unique employer is the fact that we focus on an individual’s capabilities, not disabilities. 

Q3: How many individuals work for Precise and how many locations do they cover?

We have 53 employees in Precise and 4 in Facilities Maintenance. We have almost 100 contracts between custodial and lawn care. The maintenance crew takes care of both of our main sites, the New Beginning’s campus and numerous apartments. 

Q4: What do you enjoy most about your job and Precise Services? 

The individuals I work with and making a difference in peoples lives.

Q5: How would one get involved with Precise as a potential worker? Or a potential customer? 

We can be reached at 419-774-2201, for someone having question about our services or looking for employment 

Q6: Is there anything else you would like to share about Precise? 

Precise is all about someone’s ability not disability.

Q7: When was Precise established?

  Precise started back in the mid to late 80’s with 1 custodial and 1 contract that we serviced twice a week. Now we have over 50 employees and nearly 100 contracts, some we maintain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 356 days a year.


Community Support


Thank you to the support of United Way of Richland County! 

Through United Way funding, we can help guide our youth and are able to provide the L.I.F.E (Learning Information For Empowerment) Initiative for children. L.I.F.E is a summer youth program that promotes a healthy, informed, active lifestyle and aims to increase prosocial skills through teaching new perspectives on mental/physical health and wellness. Catalyst will provide regular weekly recreational activities, learning environments, multi-cultural games, arts and crafts, and health education paired with the Skillstreaming curriculum. The L.I.F.E initiative assists youth with special needs and mental health diagnoses to identify social ques, obtain appropriate peer interactions, receive psych education of their diagnoses, and increase their self- awareness. Through the L.I.F.E program, children of our community are given the opportunity to feel empowered, gain self-awareness, develop coping strategies, improve problem-solving skills, and learn to make healthy decisions. These healthy decisions will improve their development both physically and mentally. L.I.F.E. aims to promote literacy, health, and wellness.



Hear from our Executive Director, Erin Schaefer

Richland Source in partnership with Ohio Health has designated this week as “Wellness Week” in order to promote mental health and share tools and exercises on how to decrease stress and anxiety.

We think thousands of thoughts every day. When we start to feel worried or sad, it often helps to change our thinking. 

Watch this Wellness Week video to learn some tips on how to get started, courtesy of Erin Schaefer, executive director and executive vice president of Catalyst Life Services.


Thank you to our Therapists!

As we wrap up the last day of Mental Health Month, we wanted to say how grateful we are to our wonderful therapists!







“Even in the midst of this pandemic, whether working from the office or from home, the therapists are still providing the their services and support to the clients to help manage the crisis and symptoms that Covid-19 may be causing for those that we serve. The therapists here at Catalyst provide great client care. I am very grateful to be working with such great staff!”

Nicole Kimble,

Adult Mental Health Program Director


“Working on the front lines, our therapists remain resilient in the face of the unknown.  They recognize mental health can’t be an afterthought for people. They work tirelessly to help people cope with their mental health and substance use issues.  They have utilized numerous telehealth options in order to stay connected with their clients who’s social support systems have been crippled by the pandemic.  For people in crisis, or those who need detox services and residential care, our therapists don a mask and provide services to our most vulnerable.  We are grateful for their compassion and commitment to quality care.” 

Elaine Surber,

Executive Vice President, New Beginnings Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services Director


 “I am so proud of the children’s therapists for their dedication and bravery in supporting their clients and families through such a difficult time!  I have seen no one flinch, and have been amazed at the ideas, creativity and energy shown in working with the children and families of this community!” 

Paul Hasenauer, Child & Adolescent Team Leader

Catalyst ACT Team


ACT (assertive community treatment) is an intensive wrap around team that consists of a team leader, therapist, case manager, substance abuse specialist, peer support specialist, nurse, nurse practitioner and psychiatrist that all work together to provide services to the severely mentally ill clients with a psychotic disorder that many also have substance use disorders.

These clients have struggled with traditional treatment services and often experienced frequent hospitalizations, legal issues and homelessness. Many struggle with meeting basic needs in the community without these intensive services. The team meets daily to review the current 44 clients on the team and provides frequent services to these clients to help assure stability and assistance to hopefully decrease struggles in the community.


Let’s hear from some of the ACT Team Members!

Q1: What role do you play on the treatment team of ACT? 

Carrie: I am the ACT RN.  I would say my main role is that of an educator.  I want my clients to be educated on issues regarding their health and well-being.  It is importance for anyone taking a medication to know why they take the medication and the potential side effects of the medication.  The more they know about their medication and how it helps them and works within their body, the more likely they are to keep taking the medication.  I also do education on various health topics such as hygiene, nutrition, and sleep.  I also assist clients with filling medication bins in order to help them maintain medication compliance and I administer injections as prescribed.

Q2: How long have you worked in this role? 

Carrie: I have been in this role since January 26, 2018, so a little over 2 years.  

Q3: What do you enjoy most about your job on the ACT team? What drew you as a nurse to this position?  

Carrie: I love the variety of individuals I get to work with.  From individuals in their early 20’s, clear through to 60+.  Our team gets clients from all walks of life and in all stages of serious mental illness.  I have always had a passion for mental health.  There is a huge stigma attached to individuals who have a serious mental illness and I feel like sometimes they get lost in the system.  Being on the ACT team allows me the opportunity to assist individuals in maintaining their independence and the ability to function within society. 

Q4: What is unique about the ACT services Catalyst provides? Can you share how being a nurse for this team is different from working as a nurse somewhere else? 

Carrie: Working on an ACT team is unique in every way!  We work with individuals who have a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and need assistance with being able to maintain their independence.  As part of an ACT team, an individual has access to nursing, case management, individual therapy, group therapy, peer support services, substance abuse services, and vocational services.  Our team members work closely, with one another, to provide continuity of care for the individuals we serve.   This field of nursing allows me the opportunity to meet the client where they are in life.  I have to maintain flexibility with my approach to care and be able to adapt to frequent changes in situations.  For example, if one of my clients call and is having a bad day and doesn’t want to come into the office to get their medication, I have the ability to go to their home to give it to them.  This flexibility is so important for my clients.  Helping my clients stay well is my number one priority.   

Q5: Can you speak about the importance of medication in regards to this team and how it benefits clients? 

Carrie: Medication plays a huge role in assisting our clients to maintain their independence.  The bulk of our individuals would not be able to function successfully within the community without routine medications.  My goal is to assist the individual in understanding and accepting the importance of medication and the role it plays in their life.

Q6: Is there anything else you want to share about ACT? 

Carrie: ACT is such a unique program.  The services we provide to individuals, on a daily basis, allow them to be productive members of society.  We have an amazing team, full of knowledgeable providers, who are passionate about helping the individuals who require the most intensive wrap-around care.


Q1: What role do you play on the treatment team of ACT?

Nick: The role of Peer Support Specialist on the ACT team has many parts. I am typically the first to try engaging with the client and build some sort of trust and rapport. It is my job to initiate contact with newer clients specifically and let them know what all we offer or how we can assist them. Many of the ACT clients reach out to myself for needs such as transportation, paying bills, shopping and cashing checks.

Q2: How long have you worked in this role?

Nick: I started as the ACT Peer Support Specialist in September. I was immediately welcomed into the ACT team and have built a professional relationship with the majority of staff and clients.

Q3: What do you enjoy most about your job on the ACT team?

Nick: I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get seeing a client who started with no direction and is now thriving.

Q4: What is unique about the ACT services Catalyst provides?

Nick: The ACT services is unique due to the level of wrap around care and ongoing support we offer our clients.

Q5: Can you speak to the importance of the peer support on this team?

Nick: Peer support offers something unique to a client that a case worker cannot provide. To be a licensed peer supporter, you have to have some sort of personal background with mental health or addiction. Because of this, peer support is able to connect more closely with a client due to having been there themselves.

Q6: Is there anything else you want to share about ACT?

Nick: From my short time with the ACT team, I have seen many of the clients lives change for the better.

Mental Health Month, Wk. 4

Did you know?

Mental Health Court is a program through the court system that was established for clients with mental health diagnoses that get into legal trouble. Mental health court assists them getting into treatment to become stable and build a rapport to hopefully keep them in treatment once successfully graduated from the program to prevent recidivism.

Catalyst has a team to support individuals in the court hearings and treatment team meetings and assists in coordinating the treatment services at Catalyst for those in Mental Health Court.


Q&A with Erin 

1. What is your occupation, title and how long have you worked at Catalyst? 

Executive Director/Executive Vice President, I have been employed by Catalyst for the last 20 years (14 of them full-time).   

2. Can you briefly describe the services you are over?  

I oversee all mental health services for the agency, as well as compliance, Forensics, and crisis services.   

3. Mental Health and the jails, this is something many people don’t think about. Do you have any information about this? 

Nationally, it has been reported that 20% of the population in jails and prisons is severely mentally ill (ref: Torrey EF, Zdanowicz MT, Kennard AD et al). The treatment of persons with mental illness in prisons and jails: A state survey. Arlington, VA, Treatment Advocacy Center, April 8, 2014.).  This means about 350,000 people in jails and prisons are identified as severely mentally ill.  If there are approximately 50,000 psychiatric beds in the United States, then you can see how upside down this statistic is. We are not treating mental illness; we have criminalized it.   

4. I believe one of the least known services we do are the ones in the jails, can you explain these services and how they help? 

We have staff who are on site at the jail for 30 hours per week, providing mental health support, referrals to services, and connecting people to drug & alcohol treatment.  This has been invaluable in helping to get people the treatment they need when they are ready to receive it.  This also helps to stabilize some of our most severely mentally ill who end up in jail, as they get medications started immediately upon incarceration.  Staff in the jail treat people as human beings, which can make all the difference.  Regardless of your location and regardless of what might have happened, we are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such.   

5. Being in the mental health field for the past 25 years, can you speak to the stigma surrounding mental health? Has it changed over the years?    

We are both less able to talk about mental health and more able to discuss it.  It seems we can acknowledge it exists – we talk about it on TV shows, we address it on social media, and we have hashtags to trend it in our awareness.  However, it is still extremely difficult for people to admit it for themselves and speak it out loud.  To admit someone struggles with mental health issues seems to admit “weakness”, and nothing could be further from the truth.  When we admit our struggles, we actually allow ourselves to be vulnerable which softens others to us and brings people toward us – exactly what one needs when struggling emotionally!  It is so important for us to speak of our own struggles so others know it is ok for them to do so as well.   

6. What are some applicable ways we can fight against the negative stigmas associated with mental health treatment and MI?   

Talking about our own experience, sharing common stories, and letting people know we are here to help and support them.  Sometimes the best thing we can do for someone who is struggling is just to be present with them.  No words need to be exchanged; just being willing to sit with someone who is in pain is enough to let them know they are not alone.  Like the hashtag for the pandemic says, we are #InThisTogether.

Click the picture below to read about 5 ways to decrease the Stigma of Mental Health by Erin Schaefer on Mind Body Align’s Blog.


In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Child and Adolescent Department from Catalyst Life Services wanted to put together this fun video to remind you about the importance of mental health for Mental Health Awareness Month!

Click the picture below to view our video!


    Click the picture below to view our appreciation for all of our case managers!


     Some days it seems hard to believe that it’s been almost 3 months since COVID-19 altered so much of our world and what we have all come to know as normal. Not just in the work place but in each of our daily lives. Other days it feels as if it’s been so much longer.  I truly believe, for similar or differing reasons, we have all felt stress, pressure, frustrations, and uncertainty at times. One thing that I am certain of today, is that Catalyst is filled with amazing, committed, and loyal employees.  

    As the end of Mental Health Awareness month nears, there is strong evidence, as we navigate through such unprecedented times, the importance of mental health awareness each and every day.  Please don’t forget to take care of yourself.  If you are still struggling or ever need someone to reach out to – we are here 24/7 through our helpline (419-522-HELP) to help connect you to our services.   

    I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Safe Memorial Day, and I want to give thanks to all present and past servicemen and women who have served our country.

With gratitude,
Laura Montgomery, CEO



Thank you so much to the following organizations/individuals whom have helped us out with donations during this time!

We appreciate our Case Managers!


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

Mental Health Month, Wk. 3

Did you know?

Catalyst has many employed Peer Recovery Support Specialists!

This refers to a certified individual who has a lived experience of a mental illness and/or substance use disorder and has been in recovery for at least 2 years. Peer Support programs have been shown to be one of the only constants that people experience as they move between the other points in their continuum of care.

Want someone to talk to?

Call Warmline to talk to a peer support specialist today!

419-522-5300


My name is Vicki Davis and I am a Peer Support Specialist at Catalyst Life Services and for the past year, I have been Acting Coordinator for the Oasis Peer Center. In July, I will be working at Catalyst for 5 years. I love working at Catalyst because I can give back to the mental health community. People who suffer from mental illness desperately need compassion and acknowledgement. Just by these simple things, I can brighten their day and even help their light inside shine a little brighter. 

When it comes to mental health, lack of education, misconceptions and judgements all still continue to feed the stigmas surrounding mental illness. Through my diagnoses of OCD, depression and anxiety, I have learned I am now better equipped to provide hope and spread education. I can attest to the hardships of mental illness. Many of my family members also struggle with mental health diagnoses. Although I have been through some difficult times, this has helped me to connect to many different kinds of people and has led me to my calling. I share with those who are struggling, ‘If I can overcome and see the light at the end of the dark tunnel, I believe you can do it too.’

Oasis helps provide a safe place for anyone with a mental health concern. All are welcome to come and gather with others who understand what they are going through. Oasis lets you know you are not alone; it provides structure and it helps many individuals to feel loved and cared for. 

At Oasis we have classes to expand our knowledge of mental and physical health. We also gather together and talk about different topics and tools on how to help one another through the difficult times. I would say, one of my greatest wishes is for more people to come to the Oasis Peer Center and experience the community for themselves! I can understand the worry of coming to a new place that is classified as a ‘mental health club’, but we are not defined by that. We are people first, people who laugh a lot and enjoy each other’s company. I would like to encourage new club member to come down for 3 to 4 days in a row and I am sure they will return! They will learn that they are welcomed with understanding and open arms. The Oasis Peer Center is truly an amazing place to be.

Although the Oasis Peer Center is temporarily closed, we continue to provide telehealth services through the Warmline. 

Oasis will resume normal operating hours with guidance from the State of Ohio.



Supplies Needed! 

Below you can see a list of all supplies that are currently needed. You can drop off supplies at The Center or Rehab Center Locations.  If you have any questions contact Melissa Drozda at 419-774-6710 or email at drozda@catalystlifeservices.org. 


Q&A with Jennifer

1. What is your job title at Catalyst?

“My position is the Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) Lead and Residential Assistant.”

2. What do you like most about working for Catalyst, specifically for the Crisis Stabilization Unit?  

“I love helping people. The Crisis Stabilization Unit staff helps people when they need us the most. We also take calls from different people that are having mental health issues. Working on the Crisis Stabilization Unit is very rewarding as you see clients get better with their treatment.” 

3. In your own words, why would you encourage someone to call the helpline if they are struggling? 

“I would encourage anyone to call the helpline when they feel they need our help. Your Mental health is as important as treating any other medical disease such as heart disease or diabetes. The Helpline is always here and willing to talk with people and get them the help they need.”   

4. There seems to be a hesitancy and stigma attached to receiving help/support for mental health, can you speak to that?  

“I feel people think they have failed if they seek mental health help. I want everyone to know it is not a failure. Sometimes it takes help to get back on your feet. And everyone has been down at some time in their life before and needed a hand to get back up.”

5. Please feel free to share any other information in regards to the helpline or mental health that you want people to know.  

“I would just like everyone to know that it is possible to live a fulfilling life with having Mental Health Problems. Mental Health is a piece of us but it does not define us.”  


    “As someone who previously supervised and coordinated the Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU), I have seen so many success stories of people who have started their recovery journey on the crisis unit.

    The crisis unit has remained open and available for admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our 24/7 crisis helpline (419-522-HELP) also continues to operate from the CSU. Staff are available 24 hours a days to provide support, help, and access to needed services. 

I continue to be grateful to all our donors, funding sources, and employees. All of you have shown that we are in this together and continue to collaborate to serve those in need.”

     With gratitude,   
Laura Montgomery, CEO


     There are many types of people that be considered heroes.
And the individuals who work in our 24/7 residential services definitely fall into that category.

Click the picture below to view our appreciation for our residential staff!

Mental Health Month, Wk. 2

Did you know?

   Complications linked to untreated mental illness include social isolation, legal and financial problems, poverty and homelessness and medical conditions. Mental health concerns do not have to go untreated, Catalyst is here to help @ 419-522-HELP!


Q&A with Paul
Q 1:  What is your role at Catalyst and how long have you been in the role?

Paul: “I have been in my current role of Child and Adolescent team leader since November/December of 2019. I have learned a lot in a short time, but I also realize that I have so much more to learn, so I want to keep striving.I have been at the agency since September of 1999.” 

 
Q 2: Why do you have a passion for mental health and more specifically, children’s mental health?

Paul: “I feel passionately about the field of mental health, in particular the children’s dept., because I think so often that the diagnosis or the condition that people struggle with, is perceived as “them”. I think the strengths and the remarkably unique things that each client has is so important and should not get overlooked! So I am glad that I can be an advocate and encourager and try to walk side by side with them in treatment. I feel privileged to be able to help lead this team and to assist clients in meeting their goals.”  

Q 3: What do you enjoy most about your job at Catalyst?

Paul: “I enjoy working with and helping to guide the team. I enjoy hearing about and seeing the successes the staff have with their clients. I enjoy the energy this team brings and their ideas, passion, and commitment to clients.  I also enjoy how each day is different and brings it’s challenges. Not a day goes by that I don’t have a laugh with someone, this team has a great sense of humor!”  

Q 4: Many times there can be a hesitancy and stigma to seeking professional help for your child’s mental health. Can you speak to that? 

Paul: 
“I realize there is a perceived stigma to one seeking mental health treatment. However, I have witnessed a positive shift in this in the past couple of years. Celebrities such as Kevin Love from the Cavaliers have been open about their own struggles with mental health and have advocated people seeking treatment. I think this is awesome, I certainly try to encourage that getting help is okay, that people need to take care of their whole self.  I would like to think that Catalyst and other agencies can be a safe place.”  

Q 5: What are some of your hobbies and/or something interesting about yourself that you would like to share?

Paul: “I am married and love spending time with my 13 year old son and 14 year old daughter. I love music, play guitar, like movies, and theatre (which I used to do in the area). I also love fishing and am a huge Browns fan, (which means  I guess I’m a glass half full guy! )”         

Q 6: Please feel free to share anything else pertaining to children’s and parent’s mental health you would want readers to know.
Paul: “I truly feel fortunate that I am a part of an organization so passionate and committed to the people and families of this community.I am glad that we can be looked at as a place that people can trust to help them, and to feel safe doing it, because I think we are needed now more than ever.”  


Supplies Needed! 

Below you can see a list of all supplies that are currently needed. You can drop off supplies at The Center or Rehab Center Locations.  If you have any questions contact Melissa Drozda at 419-774-6710 or email at drozda@catalystlifeservices.org. 


Q&A with Josh

Q 1: What is your role at Catalyst and how long have you been in the role? 

Josh: “I am an employment specialist and I help people get jobs and connect them with resources to get them things they need in order to be successful in a job. I have been doing that for over 6 ½ years and will keep doing it for many more.”    

Q 2:Why do you have a passion for vocational services? Could you share how that may extend to mental health?   

Josh: “This one may make more sense if asked backwards. My interests started in psychology because I wanted to know how people think and why people are the way they are because there are so many personalities and so many interesting and different qualities about each of us so I wanted to learn more about that. 
As an intern counselor I noticed that most people in counseling had the same 2 issues- too much free time to think about their problems and not enough money to do anything to change that. This lead me to check out the vocational department and it was an instant fit and they basically offered me a job that they did not even have as a job coach on an as-needed basis. 
That got my foot in the door and I fell in love with being able to help people in a concrete way. Of all the employment specialists here, I have been here the longest.  

Q 3: What do you enjoy most about your job at Catalyst?

Josh: “That would have to be sharing the joy somebody feels when they get a job! It is such a wonderful feeling knowing their life is improving and I was able to be a part of that. Admittedly, I also have a great time when I get to take people shopping for work clothes because it is fun and they are usually so grateful and joyful to get nice things. Many of them tell me it is the first time they have been able to get new clothes in years! It is so nice to be able to help them in a more fun way instead of in a clinical way which we typically think of when it comes to mental health services.”    

Q 4: Many times there can be a hesitancy and stigma to seeking professional help for mental health. Can you speak to that? 

Josh: “This is definitely something we see from both sides. Clients can feel awkward about getting help and employers can stigmatize people receiving help and unfortunately that is always going to happen. We continue to try to educate people and build relations in the community to alleviate this as much as possible and I would say we find just as many people interested in helping us and our clients as we find those who are turned off by it so there is hope out there!”     

Q 5: Could you share how vocational services can help someone with a mental health diagnosis?   

Josh: “Getting to work can be a big part of treatment for some people because doing work you enjoy becomes a big part of who you are. It gives a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment, the ability to be independent, and much more. It also keeps people busy and out of trouble, gives them a chance to socialize and make friends, and make money to take care of themselves and have fun. All of these things play an important role in our daily life and affect our overall well-being.”   

Q 6: What are some of your hobbies and/or something interesting about yourself that you would like to share? 

Josh: “Well outside of working full time, the main thing I do is continue working lol. I have a part-time job as well and that is another passion of mine. I work and play in car audio. I always have a great sounding system in my cars and I have over $50k in audio equipment because I can not live without my music!”   

Q 7: Please feel free to share anything else pertaining to mental health and vocational services you would want readers to know.   

Josh: “It is important to take care of yourself because even if you do not have a mental health diagnosis and go to counseling, we all have our own struggles and if we do not manage them properly we could easily be the ones needing help so be happy, have fun, and eat ice cream if you want.” 


   “As we continue to work our way through this uncertain time filled with constant change, we find ourselves in new positions.  Many have had to adapt to either working remotely or have lost their employment entirely .Those that continue to work onsite may have children at home with the closing of schools. Children are feeling isolated as activities are cancelled and they are away from their friends, and we know many are facing anxiety and fear about the pandemic itself. We have counselors available for youth and adults to assist with the multitude of emotions and fears many are experiencing. These services can be provided over the phone.   

   We want to thank the Richland County Foundation and other community supporters for their donations to help with telehealth tools, PPE and infectious control items during this difficult time.  As a community behavioral health organization, we could not do it without this ongoing support!”

     With gratitude,   
Laura Montgomery, CEO


Mental Health Month Weekly Newsletter!

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a sense of normalcy from us all. In the midst of this disaster, we have adapted our service delivery, followed new protocols, and worked hard to keep people safe. New emergency rules have given us the ability to provide many of our services via telehealth. While our doors have remained open as an essential business, telehealth has been our preferred method of treatment. 

We are here to support the residents of Richland and contiguous counties during this crisis.  This global pandemic can significantly affect mental health for everyone since it is a difficult time filled with apprehension and uncertainty.  If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, fear, depression, or anxiety please contact someone at Catalyst to begin services. We have a 24-hour crisis helpline (419-522-HELP) with trained professionals that can help you access our services. Your initial appointments as well as on-going appointments can be conducted over the phone from the comfort of your own home.   

I am truly grateful to all the staff at Catalyst Life Services. They have pulled together to take care of the people we serve and each other. We are here to help.” 

With gratitude, 
Laura Montgomery, President & CEO


Weekly Mental Health News!



Be a Catalyst Campaign

You can be a part of the change by…




Challenge #3


Challenge #4

Above is a list of all supplies that are currently needed. You can drop off supplies at the Center or Rehab Center Locations. If you have any questions contact Melissa Drozda at 419-774-6710 or email at drozda@catalystlifeservices.org.


“My name is Nicole Kimble and I am the Adult Mental Health Program Director at Catalyst. I have been in this role since October 2019, however, I have been working at Catalyst since 2006. I have had many different roles here including residential at the group homes, Helpline, case manager, therapist, ACT team coordinator and now stabilization unit coordinator and Program Director of adult mental health. I am married with three children and I enjoy spending time with them. We mainly enjoy outdoor stuff such as camping in the summertime and going for walks and traveling.

Honestly, when I first started at Catalyst, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I had a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and had interest in this type of field, but I was unsure at what all that entailed. As I began working more closely with the clients, I began to realize that I thoroughly enjoyed helping these individuals, specifically the SAMI/ACT population. This refers to individuals who are diagnosed with severe mental illness and co-occurring disorders. It feels great to see the clients make progress and be able to see the advantages of psychiatric medications and treatment. Although I really enjoy the direct care work with our clients, I also love educating, training and building the ACT team as well as our clinical staff so they are best prepared to help and support our clients.

I don’t think people realize all the mental health services Catalyst actually provides. We have outpatient services for therapy, case management, medication management services, the SAMI/ACT team, the stabilization unit and the mental health court services working with courts on getting those in the legal system the treatment they need.

Although I do believe the stigma attached to mental health has decreased over the years, there is still that hesitancy for some to seek the support they need for their mental health. People many times do not realize a mental health diagnosis is no different than a medical diagnosis and, with both, there is treatment to help to maintain health with medications and therapy and support. Catalyst is dedicated to fighting against this stigma and works hard to speak about the successful outcomes of those who seek mental health treatment and to encourage individuals in treatment to share from their own perspective, to encourage people to come get the help and support they need and deserve.”


Not all heroes wear capes

There are many types of people that can be considered heroes. And the individuals who work in our residential services definitely fall into that category. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, these employees continue to come to work for 1st, 2nd and 3rd shift as they care for and support our clients for all of our 24-hour residential services including New Beginnings Men’s and Women’s Residential Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities, Withdrawal Management, the Catalyst Stabilization Unit and Service Enriched Housing. Throughout the uncertainty of this time, our clients can still have a safe and therapeutic environment, professional help and support and the knowledge that these employees and all of Catalyst Life Services are here to best serve our clients.


“Mandi, Trena and Paige all give 100% to their staff and clients to keep everyone healthy and safe! They are shining stars!” -Elaine Surber, Executive Vice President/ Director of New Beginnings Alcohol and Drug Services

Thank you to our residential services staff!


“My staff has continued to show up for work without questions. They have acted selflessly! They have lives outside the agency, and family to protect, but their focus is on providing quality care. They are the essential staff of the agency because we couldn’t operate our residential facilities without them. I am amazed by their professionalism during this time.”

– Mandi Whitlatch, Substance Use Disorder Residential Supervisor


“I am very proud of the staff at Withdrawal Management; the compassion and caring way they are with the clients. I could not be more delighted to be able to work beside these amazing nurses, therapist and techs!” -Paige Rhodes, Withdrawal Management Nursing Director



“I don’t know if I can truly say enough to express the appreciation I have for my staff. I admire them because they come in here each and every shift, ready to make a difference even in the face of this pandemic. They see that much of the agency is working from home and are aware this is not an option for them, but I have not heard a single complaint from any of the staff in this regard. They accept that this is their role within the agency and do it daily. In addition to coming to work, they get right out there with their clients and they are doing activities with them to try and keep the ‘cabin fever’ at bay. They offer great client care always. Most people view my staff as essential. I view them as exceptional. RESIDENTIAL ROCKS! -Trena Jacobs, Residential Supervisor, Food Service Coordinator

Temporary On-Site Hours

Due to the increase of telehealth services we will be reducing our lobby/front door hours.  Our temporary on-site hours due to COVID-19:

Rehab Center Location (270 Sterkel Blvd.):

  • 7am to 6pm Mon., Wed., Thurs.    
  • 7am to 5pm Tues.    
  • 7am to 3pm Fri.  

Center Location (741 Scholl Road):

  • 7am to 4pm Mon.
  • 7am to 5pm  Tues.
  • 7am to 5:30pm Wed.  
  • 7am to 5pm Thurs.
  • 7am to 3pm. Fri

Taking these social distancing measures can help stop or slow down the spread of this virus. 

For more information regarding precautions Catalyst is taking; please visit our COVID-19 Information Page here: https://catalystlifeservices.org/important-information-regarding-covid-19/