Doing Good: Ozark Guidance

For 40 years Ozark Guidance has been helping people in Northwest Arkansas deal with mental illness. Director of the Siloam Springs Outreach office Charlie Plummer has worked there 31 of those years.

"What we do every day is change and save lives every single day, and that is what I am the most proud of," he said. 

Ozark Guidance is one of 14 mental health centers in Arkansas and the largest in the state. The group's philosophy -- everyone deserves top notch treatment.

"People who may not be able to pay a full fee or have insurance can come to Ozark Guidance and be served," said Ozark Guidance Chief Executive Officer Tom Petrizzo. With mental illness and disorders being more common than many realize -- the group serves more than 14,000 people a year.

"The Surgeon General data that came out in 1999 showed that 1 in 5 sdults will have an illness that requires treatment," Petrizzo said. "One in eight children will have the same need in any given year. While those illnesses are very common - they are also very treatable."
With so many children experiencing issues - Ozark Guidance works closely with schools in Northwest Arkansas.

"The earlier the intervention, the more positive the response - especially with kids," Plummer said. "Anxiety is very common with kids and the earlier you can catch that before that develops we can intervene and stop that at that level."
The group hopes to expand its work in schools - and continue to help children and adults in Northwest Arkansas find ways to live happy healthy lives for another 40 years.

For more information on Ozark Guidance, go to:

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