Shield Bearer remains focused on mental health


Shield Bearer, a nonprofit counseling service based at Cy-Fair, provided telehealth appointments to residents of Harris and Montgomery counties in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic forced residents to check out socially distancing and reducing physical interactions.

Over a year after switching to virtual appointments, Shield Bearer has returned to serving clients in person since last fall. While Shield Bearer has been able to deliver eligible telehealth clients, the nonprofit has only recently seen an increase in the number of clients needing mental health services.

“Now that we reopen our doors and are back to in-person counseling, it is making a difference for a lot of people,” said Michelle Temofonte, Clinical Director of Shield Bearer. “Teletherapy has changed things and things are not going anywhere. It’s also nice for those who want to come and see someone face to face so that we can reopen our office.

With the decline in services in 2020, Temofonte said Shield Bearer has seen a sharp increase in customer numbers due to the return of in-person services. The non-profit organization is hosting a Casino Royale Games Night on November 13, a fundraising event inviting members of the community to win prizes and contribute to their mission.

“We didn’t see that many people come in,” Temofonte said. “Even though we started teletherapy, a lot of people wanted to be in person and they were still waiting. Our numbers are back.

The Mental Health Heroes Classic Golf Tournament on October 6 also brought more attention to the non-profit organization and offered prizes to attendees.

Shield Bearer offers in-person adult and teen support groups at their physical locations, allowing groups to discuss their thoughts and feelings with a counselor leading the discussion.

“Teenage groups are thriving,” Temofonte said. “For these teenagers, it is a way for them to get back into social interactions since they have been at home for a very long time.

For potential clients nervous about starting the counseling process, Temofonte said the front office can put them on the right track for them, whether it is group counseling or solo counseling.

“A good place to start is to call our main office number,” Temofonte said. “We have customer relationship specialists and they’ll get the information from them and they’ll assign them an advisor that’s best for them or recommend a group. “

Although Shield Bearer works with community colleges and local businesses to promote their in-person services, they still offer telehealth therapy to those who prefer it.

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