A Message from the Founders
Welcome to PILLAR. Located in Laredo, Texas, our mission is to provide free readily accessible, high quality behavioral health and substance use/abuse services in an atmosphere that promotes compassion, respect and well-being for all. Additionally, PILLAR also serves as a training center for future behavioral health professionals which we hope will remain in our community and bridge the significant service gap that exists in this area. We strive to be united in service to our community and to stand as a beacon of hope and recovery for those who trust us with their care. Bullying was once considered a simple, harmless rite of childhood experienced by many students. Today, research shows that bullying has significant short-and long-term effects that impact education, health and safety. Youth suicide is also a compelling public health issue because it is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 years old and due to the fact that there is general consensus that it is preventable. It is critical that we have someone to turn to for support and guidance when needed.
Our professional volunteers at PILLAR are mentored by Texas State Licensed Practitioners. Our clinical team of mental health professional volunteers consist of licensed professional counselors, a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist and Texas A & M International University and St. Mary’s University graduate students obtaining their advanced degrees in counseling psychology. PILLAR offers graduate students the opportunity to utilize their academic education in a clinical setting. After extensive didactic training in Counseling, Family Systems Theory, Psychopathology, Sexual Issues, and Professional Ethics, students apply their knowledge to their work with clients under intense supervision. While the length of therapeutic engagement varies from person to person, our counseling services are short term and a typical course of therapy consists of 7 sessions.
In addition to individual, couple or family therapy, PILLAR provides workshops and renders educational presentations throughout the community covering a multitude of specialty areas. Workshop topics vary according to ongoing interest levels. Typical workshops include such topics as bullying prevention, suicide prevention, parenting, caring for caregivers, divorce support, bereavement, depression, self-esteem issues, and teen talk. PILLAR also offers a 24 hour crisis helpline that is staffed by trained Laredo area citizens familiar with the local resources so as to help link people to programs designed to assist them with their needs including our own behavioral health services.
Research continues to demonstrate that counseling can be effective in alleviating the symptoms associated with mental health disorders; however, nearly two-thirds of all people with diagnosable mental health conditions do not seek treatment. Furthermore, stigma still surrounds both mental illness and substance abuse disorders and prompts many people to hide their symptoms and avoid treatment.
We hope that PILLAR can help you with your recovery journey or in your efforts to provide support to someone you care about.
We ask that you join our mission and STAND UP FOR PILLAR.
Manuel Sanchez, Co-Founder
Arturo Diaz Jr, Co-Founder