Behavioral Health Program Introduces New Staff and Expanded Services

July 6, 2021

Community Hospital’s behavioral health program, Generational Guidance, introduces new staff and now offers services to a wider age group.

The structured outpatient behavioral health program offering mental health medication management and mental health therapy services now offers services to people age 18 and older. Generational Guidance was launched to help adults cope with life transitions, management of medications, and issues like depression, anxiety, loss, and grief.

Services are covered by insurance plans, Medicare, and many supplemental and secondary policies. For more information or to schedule a clinical assessment call, 308-344-8280. The program is located at Community Hospital, 1301 East H Street, in McCook, Nebraska.

Mental Health Practitioner

Brenda Ruf, MS, CPC, LMHP, LADC, recently joined Generational Guidance as a licensed mental health practitioner. She provides counseling in individual and group therapy.

Mental health therapy services include:

  • Counseling
  • Individually and group therapy
  • Utilizing coping skills

In addition to being a licensed mental health practitioner, Ruf is also a certified professional counselor. She began her career as a school teacher and later became a school counselor. She completed classes for agency counseling and was employed as a drug and alcohol counselor at the Work Ethic Camp. She was also a mental health therapist and drug and alcohol counselor for Lutheran Family Services for fifteen years. In addition, she worked for Region II Human Services as a mental health therapist and drug and alcohol counselor for more than five years.

Nurse Practitioner

Mental health medication management is offered by Pam Awe, MSN, NP-C, Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, who joined Generational Guidance a year ago. “Medication can make a world of difference in your mental outlook,” she said.

Mental health medication management services include:

  • Selecting meds to specifically target patient symptoms.
  • Using meds when needed to help treat depression, anxiety, ADHD/ADD, bipolar, panic disorder, insomnia, psychotic disorders, and other conditions.
  • Considering the patient’s physical health and other medications in the decision-making process.
  • Educating on the benefits, risks, side effects, and how to take the medication.
  • Building a relationship with the patient based on trust, confidentiality, respect, and dignity.

Awe grew up in Alabama, relocating to McCook a year ago. She served in the US Navy in Florida and Spain from 1987 to 1993 as a Cryptology Administrator. Following the Navy, she lived in California for more than 22 years and Colorado Springs for four years. She has extensive mental health experience as a nurse practitioner, including to offenders at several correctional facilities; and primary and psychiatric care to veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their family members. She received her Master of Science degree in Nursing from California State University in Fresno, California in 2001.

Behavioral Health Technician

To help support the Generational Guidance program, Anne Marie Garner, CNA, MA, BSHCA, Behavioral Health Technician, manages scheduling and referrals, provides patient orientation and assistance and coordinates office duties. Garner is also new to the department, recently joining Generational Guidance in April.