Linda Houts realized she was really good at something when she worked with the Camp Clark Show Me Youth Challenge program about 10 years ago. The program, a military style boarding school for kids when they were having trouble at school and home, helped them get their GED and develop life skills. While helping the kids in a one-on-one environment, she realized she was really good at it and she really enjoyed it.
Fast forward to 2013. Linda Houts, MSW, LCSW, is now practicing as a clinical social worker at the Cedar County Memorial Hospital Medical Mall.
Houts said, “We are very, very short of providers. This area is four mental health care providers short. Mental health providers are hard to come by. There isn’t much mental health parity in insurance coverage. Up until five years ago, most insurance didn’t cover mental health and there is still a huge amount of stigma associated with metal health.”
“People think about their physical health. You get a check up and immunizations. It still isn’t acceptable to consider mental health. If you fall out of a tree and break your leg, you go to the doctor. If you’re hurting on the inside or attempt suicide, you don’t. It’s really kind of the same thing but you don’t think about it the same way. Less that 20 – 30% of people that could benefit from treatment actually get it.”
Houts grew up in El Dorado Springs graduating from high school in 1992. Her father, Michael Houts, siblings, Jessica and William, and grandmother, Jewel, still live here. She spent a few years as a stay-at-home mom eventually getting her undergraduate degree from Missouri Southern in psychology with an emphasis in sociology in 2010. She received her masters in 2012 and worked at Heartland in Nevada before accepting the position with the Cedar County Memorial Hospital.
There is a sign painted on Linda’s office wall that reads “You can change you.” She say that the mental health provider can provide therapy. Sometime diagnostics and medication are required. But if the individual doesn’t make an effort to get better, they won't.
Houts said that having the mental and physical aspects of health care in one facility only makes sense and is an idea whose time has come.
She will see children, adolescence and adults, as well as families. She is in the office five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached by contacting the medical mall at 876-3333. She cannot prescribe medication. If she feels that it is really needed, she will refer a patient to their primary care physician.
When asked about any good books for self helpers, she recommends her favorite. “Feel the way you want to feel no matter what,” by Dr. Aldo R. Pucci which is based on rational emotive behavioral therapy.
“I love El Dorado Springs. This is what I want to do. I intend on building a practice,” she said. “I have this belief that by serving others I give my service to God. I am compelled by it.”