For 42 years, the Counseling & Education Center has strived to make professional, affordable counseling services accessible to all, regardless of income or insurance.
CEC was founded in 1981 by two Catholic sisters and licensed professional counselors, Sister Faye Huelsmann, LPC and Sister Pat Lewter, LPC, who saw the need in Mesa County for professional counseling services that low-income individuals and families could access, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. The Sisters’ goal was to empower people of all ages to change their lives through accessible and affordable counseling, which remains at the heart of CEC’s work today.
CEC makes counseling affordable and accessible by offering services on a sliding payment scale to those who are un- or underinsured, without any eligibility requirements. The majority of our clients are seen using Medicaid and CEC is one of the few counseling agencies in Mesa County that does not impose session caps on Medicaid (or any) clients. Through grant funding, we are also able to offset the costs of counseling for those affected by suicide, for victims of or witnesses to crime, and for children whose families otherwise might not be able to access play therapy.
CEC’s Core Values are:
Affordability: by ensuring that counseling is available to all regardless of income.
Equity: by providing the same high quality care to all, regardless of identity or payer source.
Safety: by following the principles of trauma-informed care to create physical and psychological safety for clients, staff, partners, and community members.
Integrity: by following the core ethical principles of nonmaleficence, beneficence, autonomy, justice, fidelity, and honesty.
Responsiveness: by using deliberate practice and cultural humility to adapt to the unique needs of each individual.
Community: by maintaining an environment of respect and hospitality for all.
When individuals who need it have access to professional counseling, they are empowered to develop healthy coping mechanisms, problem-solving skills, and stress management techniques, enabling them to navigate emotional challenges with greater resilience and adaptability. Increased mental and emotional wellbeing among people of all ages leads to better academic and professional performance, lower rates of substance abuse and participation in the criminal justice system, healthier relationships, and overall community health. Counseling helps people become better parents, partners, caregivers, and employees–creating a ripple effect of mental wellbeing that positively impacts all of Mesa County.