Dr. Sherry Nau is the Executive Director and majority owner of Gavia LifeCare Center, LLC.
Q: Tell us a little about your background in mental health counseling.
A: I have been working in the Mental Health and Addiction field for over 25 years. I started as a therapist in an inpatient substance abuse program and have traversed the worlds of mental health and substance abuse ever since. The last 5 years have been in clinic-based addiction and mental health leadership positions. I also have had my own private practice for mental health counseling for more than 10 years. In addition, I taught as an adjunct professor at Nazareth College, Keuka College and SUNY Brockport in the Social Work Department.
Q: What is the driving force for you in the counseling arena?
A: I truly believe that people are doing the best they can with the skills and knowledge they have. At times when these skills fall short, counseling offers the opportunity to determine where the barriers lie and learn how to overcome them. Therapy is a working relationship between a client and clinician that involves trust.
Q: What do you feel are the most important issues in mental health services today?
A: Very simply, it is really about timeliness and capacity to see people when they are in crisis. In all areas around the country, there is a lack of immediate access. When a client is delayed for more than a week when they feel they really need services, the mental health provider is not as affective for the client as they could be. High caseloads for clinicians and delays in services are contributing to a high level of recurring issues for clients.
Q: By starting Gavia LifeCare Center, how do you expect to make a difference?
A: The real difference is the commitment to see new referrals within 48 hours as well as have medication management consultation available immediately. That is just not available in this market right now. For instance, we are getting information that there are consistent delays in getting mental health services for people who have been in the emergency room. Our mission is to fix this and be there for the client.
Q: How else will Gavia’s services help?
A: I really see Gavia LifeCare Center as a mission based mental health program designed specifically to respond to the needs of those who walk in our doors. Our name involves “LifeCare” for a reason. We focus on the entire Life of the client. For the client and their family, however family is defined by the client, we offer group counseling, individual counseling, and medication management services with our NP and Psychiatrist. We have made yoga and meditation available to help with the comprehensiveness of our approach. We have community partnerships who we can call upon for additional support if needed. The client is not alone in their journey, and we are not alone as providers. Our care is integrated on every level.
Q: Thank you very much for this introduction. Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
A: I love to start my day with a cup of coffee and end it with a walk with my dog, Nemo.