Counseling service opensPublished 6:55pm Saturday, July 19, 2014
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On Wednesday, the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce welcomed Gracious Ministries to town.
Gracious Ministries is a grief-counseling center located on 104 W. Court St. across from Quality Cleaners. The center is operated by Barbara Buie.
Buie said she had a vision of what she wanted to do after experiencing the loss of a friend and began her own search for answers. She began by calling local colleges and asking for counseling information and met Gladys Johnson through Jackson State University. Johnson put her in contact with the Wellington Institute in Jackson, where Buie later received her credentials to counsel in 2010.
Her vision for the center is to give individuals someone to talk to one-on-one and teach them how to cope with tragedies and difficulties in their lives.
“I have a passion for people and I have a passion to help,” Buie said.
The certification and training at Wellington taught her that empathy with patients is healthy and normal, but the best way to help someone cope with grief is to remain professional and comforting.
“It’s difficult to help people sometimes when you feel their pain,” stressed Buie.
Buie described the center as a place where people of all backgrounds can come to learn how to cope with all kinds of grief, such as losing a family member or friends, going through a divorce or someone going through depression. The center will counsel ages 8 and up, but will see younger children based on individual maturity.
She stressed that the business is not about monetary gain but will charge for counseling based on income to keep the ministry open.
Dustin Walker, president of the chamber, described the business as a blessing to the community during a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday.
“We feel we have a unique community here, and we are happy to have you and your ministry a part of it,” Walker told Buie.
Counselors at the center include Buie, Linda Primous and Melody Green, but Buie also hopes to see more counselors added in the future as needed.
The hours of service are limited currently to 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., but Buie announced that eventually she would extend the hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buie hopes once the school year starts back up she can offer after-hour visits to work around the student’s schedule, as needed.
“We can’t cure grief here, but we can teach people to overcome tragedies by giving them hope,” remarked Buie.