Gulfport counseling service works to ‘help you help yourself’

Updated: May. 22, 2021 at 8:41 AM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - During times of hardship, more and more people are relying on mental health services.

We spoke with Guflport’s Catalyst Counseling & Therapy Services to see how it’s shaping lives for the better.

When you step into the Catalyst Counseling & Therapy Services building, the atmosphere is filled with relaxation.

Owner Ashira Windsor said having a calm environment is a good start to a therapy session.

“When they walk through the door, they know that they’re going to be treated with dignity, respect, and worth,” she said.

After being a social worker for 12 years and a licensed therapist for three, Windsor knew it was time to open her practice. She started her own services in 2019.

“I opened Catalyst with $300 and not a penny in my savings account,” she said.

Windsor said Catalyst provides a large variety of services to meet the need of the community.

“Substance abuse issues. It could be familial issues, behavioral health issues, or marital issues,” she said.

Windsor said that most people need therapy services more than we think. She says that 97.5% of people will experience depression sometime in their life.

“Mental health services or social work or counseling, it’s a science. It’s not something that someone just came up with. It’s a lot of science and research that goes behind it,” she said.

Windsor said that the demand has increased over the pandemic.

Her client Martha Johnson said that her anxiety shot through the roof.

“What if some of my family members got sick, who would take care of us? Just a lot of uncertainty,” Johnson said.

She said she started going to the Catalyst a year ago and learned how to control her anxiety.

“This is why this is happening, and when this happens, here are some steps you can use to alleviate that from happening again,” Johnson said.

She believes fate brought her to Catalyst.

“I could have went into a depression if I hadn’t come here,” Johnson said “The advice that I’m getting that is coming from a genuine, caring, loving place.”

“It is our pleasure to try and figure out how to help you help yourself,” Windsor added, saying it’s ok not to be ok

If you or someone you know needs mental health resources in South Mississippi, CLICK HERE for more information.

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