Community Counseling Services sees increase in numbers

From left: Oktibbeha County Commissioner for Community Counseling Services Margo Swain and Oktibbeha County Administrator for Community Counseling Services Nikki Nicholson provide a presentation during the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
Staff Writer

Community Counseling Services provided a presentation to the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors, updating them on its current services on Monday.

Oktibbeha County Administrator for Community Counseling Services Nikki Nicholson provided the board with a breakdown of how CCS has served both Oktibbeha County and the Golden Triangle this past year.

“We have increased our services in the Starkville area over the past year,” Nicholson said.

CCS currently has 5,826 active clients in its service area, of those clients, 1,300 reside in Oktibbeha County.

“We’re constantly aware of the needs in Oktibbeha County as well as in the other counties, and we have the staff in place to take care of those needs,” Oktibbeha County Commissioner for Community Counseling Services Margo Swain said.

District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller asked Nicholson what their group’s capabilities are when looking to help those who are homeless.

Nicholson said there is grant money in place to help with therapy services, a small portion of a down payment and acquiring housing, but doesn’t offer housing.

Although CCS can’t offer housing for homeless people, Nicholson said their organization has a transitional housing coordinator. Most of their housing opportunities are located in Columbus and West Point. There are two apartments here in Starkville.

“We have the resources to be able to possibly pay for deposits or things like that, but we don’t have the housing resource,” Nicholson said

When asked about services for resident’s homes destroyed by fires or flooding, Nicholson said there are no direct funds when it comes to those occurrences, but their organization reaches out into the community and crisis support. She said they also have a secondhand store, which would provide the family or person the opportunity to replenish what was lost.

The annual budget for CCS totaled out to $23,794,669. For Oktibbeha County specifically, CCS’s budget is $6,444,742.

According to CCS’s year in review presentation, there are 71 full time employees in Oktibbeha County with an annual personnel budget of $2,309,104. Some positions are part-time employees.

In 2017, CCS spent $181,740 offering services to individuals with mental health issues, which were non-reimbursable.

These funds were used to help people in crisis or indigent programming. The county contributes approximately $45,500 in millage money annually toward this total. CCS is not a state agency and money is not budgeted at the state level.

In their 2017 report, CCS’s Outpatient Therapy service served the most individuals totaling at 5,251. Outpatient Therapy service assess the individual’s mental health status. Individual, family and group therapy are provided for a variety of issues, which include anxiety, depression and stressors.

Nicholson said if there is anyone in need of their services within the community, to contact their office.