Gerard Community Mental Health Services opens office in Albert Lea

Published 8:25 am Thursday, July 18, 2019

Encouragement from multiple referral sources has prompted Gerard Community Mental Health Services to pursue opening an office in Albert Lea.

The new site is located in a restored building in the heart of downtown Albert Lea and as of July 1, GCMHS has been taking appointments.

“The response from the Albert Lea community has been very positive,” said Dr. Julie Peters, Outpatient Services Director for Gerard Community Mental Health Services through a press release. “There are many individuals and families in the Albert Lea community that are in need of mental health services, with a shortage of providers. We are very excited to share our expertise in mental health to help fill that void and provide quality mental health services to the Albert Lea Community.”

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Since 1969, Gerard Academy has been serving children and families at their residential treatment facility in Austin. In 2015, Gerard opened an outpatient program in response to the growing need for mental health services in the Austin community.

The program started out with just one therapist, but as the need for outpatient services grew, therapists continued to be added. The program currently has four full time therapists, one part time therapist and two interns with a plan of continuing to add more therapists to meet the mental health needs of the Austin and Albert Lea communities and surrounding areas.

Gerard Community Mental Health Services offers a variety of services including: diagnostic assessments, individual psychotherapy, family therapy, couples therapy, play therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and psychological testing and assessments.

Currently, therapists Cynthia Hernandez and Ashley Schoonover are seeing clients on Wednesdays and Fridays in the Albert Lea office by appointment only, with the intention of expanding the hours as the need arises.

The office is located at 137 N. Broadway Ave. Albert Lea, MN. An appointment can be made by calling 507-434-4366.