By Ray Balogh
WARSAW — As two Warsaw mental health providers will attest, the road to recovering from quarantine-related stress can take divergent paths.
Bowen Recovery Center
In a recent press release, Bowen Recovery Center of Warsaw announced its counselors are “providing psychiatric, therapy and community-based services over the phone.”
The release explained, “Moving to phone-based appointments will increase Bowen Center’s capacity to see more patients and serve new and returning patients. The ability to meet the increased need will help guard the mental and physical health of those who need help.
“‘During this difficult time, it is imperative that there are no disruptions in the services our patients receive,’ said Rob Ryan, Bowen Center senior vice president of operations. ‘A national emergency of this magnitude can take its toll on anyone’s mental health and we need to continue being there for our current patients and new patients who are struggling during this extraordinarily stressful time.’”
Bowen Center has received federal and state approval to “allow an expanded number of patients who are eligible to take prescribed medication home to self-administer for up to 28 days instead of daily commutes to the Center to receive their medication. Patients must follow a fully guided protocol to keep the mediation and themselves safe.”
Bowen Center’s medical team will remain on-site during regular business hours and the medication services will continue as normal for patients not eligible for take-home medication and new patients.
“This is a difficult time for everyone. When you add a serious disease like substance use disorder to the mix, you are compounding the stress level,” said Dr. Carolyn Warner-Greer, Bowen Center’s medical director. “I am pleased we are able to proactively adapt to the situation to keep our patients safe without any disruption of services.”
Isaiah 11 Ministry
Linda Ozier, founder and director of Isaiah 11 Ministry, a Christian counseling center based on a farm about 7 miles west of Warsaw, takes a wildly different approach to addressing stress issues.
“One of the options we are offering for individuals and families is the opportunity to get out of the house, come out here, experience the outdoors, sit and talk by a campfire, interact in the fresh air and enjoy the animals,” she said. “The kids can climb on hay bales and explore the barn. Any of these actions will help relieve stress.”
The ministry’s menagerie of therapeutic critters includes horses, a donkey, goats, pigs, rabbits, ducks, chickens, farm dogs and a host of cats.
Ozier is trained in equine-assisted psychotherapy and endorses the role of animals as co-therapists. She encouraged folks to “call us or make an appointment to come out and we can talk and jointly decide where to go together. We don’t turn away anyone because they cannot pay. They can offer some service on the farm in return for the counseling.”
In the meantime, Ozier offered some tips for dealing with the difficulties of quarantine.
• “Because there is so much confusing and contradictory information about the virus, people feel out of control and have a lot of fear because they don’t know what is the real information. Find things you can control, like making your bed every day, deciding to pet the cat or where to sit in the sun. That will give you a better sense that the whole world isn’t out of control, just one piece is.
• “Change your thoughts to things that are pleasant, instead of on the virus. Watch the horses run and play or watch a pig eating a carrot.
• “Do not focus on fear. It stops us in our tracks, confuses us and makes us less functional.
• “Realize you don’t have to have all the answers and don’t be afraid to get help.”
Bowen Recovery Center:
850 N. Harrison St., Warsaw, (800) 342-5653
Hours, 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6-10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
Isaiah 11 Ministry:
6256 W. 100N, Warsaw, (574) 549-8071 or www.facebook.com/isaiah11ministry
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. “We can be here earlier or later or on weekends by appointment,” said Ozier.