RHINELANDER - A woman inspired by the opportunity to make a change opened a counseling office two weeks ago in Rhinelander. Gena MczKenzie said she knows the mental health issues in her community and wanted to provide an outlet.
"When people are in a crisis they need to see people right away," said McKenzie.
McKenzie saw people needing counseling, had limited places to turn when they desperately needed a sense of direction.
"I had some fear and apprehension about doing it, but I wanted to take that risk to help people in a quicker way," said McKenzie.
McKenzie has six years of counseling experience and opened Phoenix Counseling in Rhinelander two weeks ago. Her office is in the old Friendly Village Nursing Home building on Boyce Drive.
"There is a problem with drug abuse in Rhinelander and surrounding areas and mental health concerns. So if I can help that and help people that would make me a lot happier," said McKenzie.
Teanna Phillips knows there's already a stigma walking into a therapy session. If you add a long wait to see a counselor that can discourage people even more.
"In the beginning it's a little nerve racking," said Phillips.
Phillips goes to counseling to deal with the stress of her week. She's felt the impact therapy leaves on you once you get off the couch.
"It takes a weight off your shoulders," said Phillips.
McKenzie wants to take some of that weight off her community and make sure anyone who wants help gets it, and reaches their full potential.
"The diagnosis doesn't define who you are but it's something I can help them work through," said McKenzie.
McKenzie specializes in mental health issues, substance abuse and faith based counseling.