Ascension Counseling Center seeks to connect residents with resources _lowres

Photo provided by Lester Kenyon -- Gina Melancon, left, a registered nurse and Resource Referral Department manager with the Ascension Counseling Center, shows informational display literature about Autism to Director Suzanne Hamilton. Melancon is managing the center's new resource referral department and will assist residents with finding information and available services for their specific needs.

The Ascension Counseling Center has launched a new Resource Referral Department.

“This service being offered by our Ascension Counseling Center will enable parish residents to find the help they need, whether it is health services or the large umbrella of social services that are available here in Ascension Parish and the surrounding metro area,” said Parish President Kenny Matassa.

Suzanne Hamilton, director of the Ascension Counseling Center, said these types of services are usually free or low cost. Hamilton said Gina Melancon, a registered nurse at the center, will oversee the department.

“We think of it as a ‘one stop’ to get any kind of assistance that one might need,” Hamilton said. “For instance, if our clients come and need other kinds of help in addition to the counseling we provide to them, Gina will link them to people who offer help for their particular needs. Gina actively seeks out entities, churches and agencies in the community that will help people in any kind of need.”

Melancon said resources available include those for autism, support groups, pediatrics, utilities aid, housing, employment, educational programs, food banks, addiction detox facilities, health screenings, female health services, domestic abuse shelters, vision and dental services, crisis intervention and aid provided by churches.

“There are so many people in need in our community, and there are so many resources out there,” Hamilton. “Because we are so close to it, we see the resources and we think everybody knows about them, but they don’t. So it’s really important that we come up with a way to get this information out to the community.”

For information about all resources being offered, call Melancon at (225) 450-1167. The agency is at 1112 SE Ascension Complex Ave., Suite A, Gonzales.