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Common Ground | An idea to help those in need with grief counseling

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Building a stronger. more resilient community takes people willing to identify needs and come up with creative ways to address those issues.

 Recently, Grief Place Executive Director Eileen Elliott emailed me about an idea for mental health professionals to collaborate on a project that would provide free counseling to those who need services but don’t have the resources. 

 Her solution? If each professional would take on one or two pro bono clients, a measureable difference could be made in helping people in great need. 

 Here’s how she sees the issue: “Almost once a week at the minimum we get a call from people who are deeply troubled about many things going on in their lifes — especially the loss of a loved one,” Elliott wrote. “I find myself in the same situation repeatedly.  They need help, we as volunteers can give some help but some really do need professional services.  That is when the problem seems to begin.  Usually these people have no insurance, no funds and/or very limited coverage from their insurance company.”

 Elliott used to work for Dr. David Larson, an orthodontist with offices in Leavenworth and Wenatchee. He quietly provided services to a few clients free of charge each year. 

 She explains: “Each year he would let the staff choose one child from each office who they and their families could not afford treatment.  He would give them free othodontia.  This amazing and generous man made a huge difference in these children’s lifes.”

 Now Elliott wonders if a group of counselors in private practice might work together to identify people in need but without resources and take a small step to help them.

 She’s already found one professional to take this step. Perhaps there are others who feel inspired to join her. She can be reached at