Pathways staff members are shown wearing matching shirts during the Recovery Celebration held last week. Pathways Executive Director Donna Konst gave a special shout-out to Ohio Shirt Company in Findlay for making the shirts. (Photo Submitted/Pathways Counseling Center)
Pathways staff members are shown wearing matching shirts during the Recovery Celebration held last week. Pathways Executive Director Donna Konst gave a special shout-out to Ohio Shirt Company in Findlay for making the shirts. (Photo Submitted/Pathways Counseling Center)

OTTAWA -Games, bounce houses, and face painting were all part of the recovery celebration held recently by Pathways Counseling Center in Ottawa. The event was held to celebrate the hard work and dedication of those in recovery. The celebration also recognized the Pathways staff that work just as hard to assist those in recovery and the event was held as a way to offer hope to those out there that are still struggling.

“We would like to celebrate at least yearly the recovery process and all of the hard work of clients, families, friends, and Behavioral Health professionals that are part of the recovery journey,” said Pathways Executive Director Donna Konst. She said this is the first time the celebration has been held.

Konst said one of the best parts about the September 21 event was how the community agencies rallied together.

“Some resources came out and set up their booths at the event,” Konst added that those unable to attend make sure to give the agency their brochures of the services they offered.

Pathways is growing with 28 staff members. “That is the most staff our agency has had at one time, and we are not done as we would like to hire those with independent licenses such as LPCCs or LISWs.”

“The growth in staff has allowed us to best serve our clients both quickly and consistently,” Konst said. “Our average days to first counseling appointment and psychiatry appointment has dramatically decreased from even six months ago”

Konst said the drug issue is constantly changing and evolving. “Currently, Pathway’s top three drugs most abused by our clientele are alcohol, marijuana, and methamphetamine,” Konst said. She said since revamping its substance abuse program in 2021 Pathways has doubled its clientele who are receiving services for addiction services.

Additionally, within the last year, two recovery houses at one point or another were full with a waiting list. Currently, they have openings in both women’s and men’s housing.

“This tells me is that the need for the population in our community is great. It is great to see that these services are utilized and taken advantage of,” Konst said.

Among the services provided at Pathways are referral and information, counseling, assessment, treatment consultation, support, and guidance. Specific mental health services include psychiatric services, community support, mental health education, psychological evaluations, play therapy, and pre-hospital Screenings.

Their substance abuse services include outpatient programs anger management, prevention education, and BWC (Bureau of Workers Compensation) and Drug-Free Workplace programs for employers and employees.

Konst said funding opportunities to provide services have been strong since the pandemic.

“The awareness for the need for behavioral health services becomes extremely noted as the effects of the pandemic become apparent,” Konst said. She said state and federal funding along with commercial health insurance plans are covering additional behavioral health services.

“The Putnam County Health and Recovery Board has provided support for services to ensure that all citizens of Putnam County can have access to high-quality behavioral health care and services,” Konst added.

Pathways is a contract agency of the Mental Health, Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Board of Putnam County and is a Partner Agency of the United Way of Putnam County.

“Pathways is constantly evolving to tailor services to the community needs,” Konst said. “Our agency offers outpatient behavioral health services, which includes individual counseling, family

counseling, intensive outpatient program, adult substance abuse group therapy, juvenile substance abuse group therapy, psychology, psychiatry, prevention services, and more.,” Konst said.

The executive director said the turnout for the recovery celebration was more than they could have expected. Konst expressed her appreciation to everyone who came and supported the event.