Community Engagement Program to assist county

The Burlington United Methodist Family Services Community Engagement Program is focused on assisting individuals in Pocahontas County through employment of two local Community Engagement Specialists – Karen Dunbrack and Cynthia Kelly.

The two specialists will provide services to those suffering from mental illnesses, substance abuse and more.

“[We] assist individuals of all ages who have serious mental health illnesses, substance use, co-occurring or co-existing disorders and those who have a history of or are at risk of psychiatric hospitalization, involuntary commitment, or those who are committed who need experienced quality services,” COO Sheila Walker said. “Services are readily accessible and tailored to meet individual, family and community needs.”

Walker explained that people suffering from these issues can experience problems at work, home, school and in relationships.

“They are left feeling isolated, helpless or ashamed,” she said. “We provide easy access to one-on-one support in home and in the community. Referrals may be made by the individual or by a family member, the Department of Health and Human Resources, the criminal justice system and doctors.”

Once a referral is made, the CES will meet with the individual to assess their situation and find the right services to fit their needs.

“The CES will partner with physicians, mental health practitioners, social workers, vocational counselors and others to create a plan for each participant to help them have readily accessible care,” Walker said. “They work with the individuals to manage their resources, such as tracking spending, helping pay bills, providing supervision and any assistance needed for the person to meet his or her goals.”

For more information on the Community Engagement Program, visit or contact Dunbrack and Kelly at 304-653-4174, 304-209-0308, 304-209-0799 or by email at and

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