New center focuses on addiction, mental health


JASPER — When Beth Pfister spoke to him at the just-opened New Visions Counseling Center on Jasper’s north side, the man brandished a checklist of goals and personal milestones.

Already scratched off: Stop drugs. Get a good, high-paying job. Still to come: Pay off debts. Build a house.

Now two long years clean, the man fought through drug addiction, and one by one, down that list, he marks off the steps to achieving his own American dream.

It’s a bucket list of getting better. And the new counseling center hopes to steer many more clients to successful lives.

“They’re here, they’re trying so hard to be understood,” Pfister said of locals struggling with addiction. “And the public here doesn’t even realize what problems we do have in Dubois County. There is a problem here, and I’m really glad that there is a place that they can come to so that we can help them live their American dream.”

Pfister is the office manager of the Jasper New Visions location. She said the conversation detailed above has resonated with her because it exemplifies how much those who don’t struggle with addiction take for granted.

Located in the SERVUS! Building at 4201 Mannheim Road, New Visions is a for-profit outpatient center that specializes in treatment for adults struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues.

Whitney Bennett, the company’s director and owner, said the area has a great need for treatment that addresses those problems.

“Mental health and substance abuse are often undiagnosed and untreated,” she explained. “And there is an epidemic of sorts, and rural communities have fewer resources available to them. So being able to come out to a rural area and offer services helps meet those needs that are unmet.”

New Visions’ services include group and individual counseling. Anger management, family counseling, and drug and alcohol education are also programs listed on the company’s website. Two of the biggest problem substances Bennett sees in Dubois County are alcohol and methamphetamine.

The office hosted a grand-opening ceremony on Wednesday, and she said its employees already feel welcome in the city.

“I think the criminal justice system, legal system, court system, the healthcare system — they all really seem to work together very well,” Bennett said. “There’s a great understanding that this is about getting help to those who need help.”

New Visions also has an Evansville location and leads group sessions at the correctional facilities in both Vanderburgh and Dubois counties. Patrick Backer aso serves as director and owner of the company and founded New Visions in 1997.

The newly assembled team working at the new Jasper location is comprised of licensed mental health professionals and social workers. The Jasper New Visions can be reached at 556-0182 and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Bennett said the first step to getting help is simply making a call.

“Just making a phone call, being honest with yourself and making a call, and then it will go from there,” she said. “What happens is health care professionals have an obligation that if we can’t meet the need, then we make connections to those who can.”

Pfister knows every time a client leaves for the last time, there’s a chance they could be back again. She prays that she will see them in town shopping, and not back in the treatment center in a state of distress.

“Literally, you go home and you think about it all night long,” she said. “And you just wish and you pray that this person doesn’t relapse. That this person, when they walk out the door and it was their last session, that they’re gonna live their American dream.”

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