Hamster hams it up <br>at the Guidance Center<br>

Mountain Coun-seling’s Medical Practice Co-ordinator Ione Becker displays Yams — the newest addition to the staff who is helping to provide comfort and fun to the center’s clients.

“He gives the clients something to focus on and look forward to,” states Becker.

Therapist Marilyn McNabb agrees and says there’s more than just one advantage to Yams’ presence.

“Having him here is very therapeutic and teaches the kids responsibility,” said McNabb.

Yams isn’t just popular with the kids, either. Becker explains that clients of all ages usually can’t wait to see their newest friend.

“We have adults calling in to see how he’s doing every day,” Becker said.

MC provides outpatient counseling in Williams for problems including substance abuse, children and family issues, and adult SMI — which stands for seriously mentally ill. It services about 30 children and over 100 adults, most of who are there voluntarily. Some clients, however, are referred or ordered by the courts, schools, other health care facilities and other government agencies.

Though substance abuse counselor Aaron Cohen admits that Yams is not a licensed therapist, all of MC’s staff hopes the tiny trooper will be around to provide fun and comfort for some time to come.

MC is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Williams, offers crisis services around the clock, and can be reached at (928)635-4272.

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