For over 105 years, Family Service Center of Galveston County has provided mental health services to a wide range of individuals regardless of diagnosis or economic situation. I joined the board in 2017 because I wanted to volunteer in the community where my family lives.

As I learned about the work driven by the center’s mission, I quickly recognized the need for and importance of the center’s work. I’m honored to be part of the center’s team to bring hope and healing to Galveston County.

Each year, the center hosts our “Connections of the Heart” fundraiser to raise awareness and critical funds to support our agency’s work. During this event, we honor individuals and families who live the agency’s vision of “strengthening families and supporting communities.”

We’re delighted to honor two couples who’ve enriched the lives of many through their commitment to Galveston County communities: Benny and Peggy Holland and Bob and Jenny Senter.

Mental health issues have touched all of our families in some way: from a child with behavioral difficulties, to a teenager with anxiety and depression, to a young mother experiencing postpartum depression, to an individual victimized by crime, to a senior mourning the loss of friends and loved ones, or a wide spectrum of situations.

The center is the only counseling agency in the county that serves all people of all ages, regardless of their diagnosis/presenting issues or ability to pay. Whether it’s individual, couples, family or group counseling, the center’s professional staff provides a soft place to land during difficult times. The incredible people who make up the center’s team — mental health professionals from psychologists to licensed counselors and clinical social workers — have addressed the mental health needs of over 2,000 individuals with over 17,800 hours of counseling in this last year alone.

We all know that this isn’t enough. As we become more aware of the harmful effects of trauma, we must be vigilant to prevent trauma where we can and intervene as early as possible. It’s estimated that as many as 80 percent of individuals accessing counseling services have experienced trauma.

The center works to prevent trauma through early parenting workshops and provides early intervention through school-based counseling services. We also address trauma later in life to increase mental health and overall wellbeing. Every day, the center focuses on bringing hope and healing to those in need.

Consider making a commitment today to help the center meet people where they are and help them get where they want to go: to stable futures of health, positivity and hope.

Make the Family Service Center of Galveston County your charity of choice through an end-of-year donation. Or join us on Jan. 25 to celebrate the impact our honorees have made on the Galveston County community, to honor the individuals served by the center and to support the incredible team serving Galveston County residents for over a century.

For information and tickets to the “Roaring into the 20s Gala” or to make a donation, visit www.fsc-galveston.org.

Michael Maron is the 2019-20 board president of the Family Service Center.

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