Mental health center has plans for Dripping Springs

by Zofia Reyes

Samaritan Center is opening a facility in Dripping Springs in an attempt to aid a city in “great need of mental health services.” 

Samaritan Center are trying to match a $50,000 pledged donation, from an anonymous family foundation, to open an office in Dripping Springs. The Center decided to expand in Dripping Springs after the community reached out to them about their need for mental health support. The group is currently working with a realtor to find a location in central Dripping Springs.

After much discussion and delay from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Samaritan Center’s plans are finally coming together. 

“A meeting with community members was scheduled in March 2020,” said officials from Samaritan Center. “With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, that meeting was canceled. We continued conversation with the Dripping Springs community and DSISD, and became a referral source, using telehealth services. We are currently providing a virtual socialization group for middle school students. Samaritan Center has also offered to pilot a screening and referral program for the school district, which is currently being reviewed by school personnel.”

The new Dripping Springs Center will provide therapy, as well as groups and workshops, to both children and adults of all ages and will offer their services to veterans as well. Their goal is to have an integrative medicine provider for resources such as acupuncture, pilates, herbal medicine, and Chinese medicine. The center has already hired one therapist, and is looking to get two more by the end of the year, along with an intake specialist. 

Additionally, the center aims to help those who may be unable to pay for therapy. They have several grants to provide free and low-cost care, and clients will not be limited to a number of sessions. 

“We treat a number of different disorders and our therapists in Dripping Springs will especially have the ability to serve the children in the school district. We offer accessible mental health and integrative medicine for all. As a nonprofit, we raise money so that no one is ever turned away. We offer free and low-cost services as well as take most insurances. The money raised in Dripping Springs will stay in Dripping Spring,” Samaritan officials said.

The anticipated mental health center needs individual donors, and found a match for $50,000 under one condition – that they raise $50,000 with the help of the Dripping Springs community first. 

A source from Samaritan Center said, “the match will not only bring counselors to Dripping Springs but also ensure that no one in Dripping Springs is turned away because of their ability to pay.” 

The exact location of the center is unknown at the time, but Samaritan Center is hoping to find a facility with three rooms for each of their therapists in central Dripping Springs. 

Samaritan Center will host the 20th Anniversary of  9/11 with a tower climb event at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Participants will be able to climb the 419 stair, 25 story Observation Tower in honor of the first responders and veterans who climbed the World Trade Center in a fight to save the people trapped inside, and honor those who lost their lives. The climb starts at 8 a.m. Sept. 11 and is open to anyone who would like to climb the tower. Admission to the event is $30, and registration is open now. Visit  https://bit.ly/samaritancenter-cota to register. Proceeds support the Samaritan Center.

“It is a challenge designed to honor and remember the American lives lost on 9/11. We will pay a tribute to the first responders lost by climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center,” Gonzalo Herrera,  Marine Corps veteran, CSCS, said.

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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