Wilmore counselors seek to serve local first responders

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

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Blake Jones has been a counselor for 25 years, and he’s been in his downtown Wilmore office for several of those years.

This week, Jones joined the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce, and its executive director, Ronda May, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its new members.

“I love this chamber already. I love the luncheons, they’re so helpful, and you guys have just all been so nice and supportive, so I just want to let you know that we really appreciate it,” Jones said.

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Jones’ wife and Director of Jessamine Elementary Schools, Dr. Lori Jones, expressed the same appreciation for their new membership.

“I’m just excited about the opportunity and the support from the chamber, and the community has been really good,” she said.

Hailing from Cincinnati, Jones moved to Kentucky to attend Berea College and has stayed in the state ever since. He is a licensed clinical social worker and recently retired from his position as a professor at the University of Kentucky.

Jones did not open this office on his own. He said that his wife, Dr. Jones, helped bring their joint vision to life.

“This vision is also hers. We’re partners. We’re co-founders of this place.” Jones said. “This place is just kind of a place where I want people to come to heal if they need to heal, work on things, or I see people who are in crisis here and I just love being here.”

His practice is strictly for adults.

“I’ve always maintained a private practice, so I just see mostly adults and couples and work with people around anxiety, depression, and drinking,” Jones said.

The Jones do have a special interest in their counseling services, and that is focusing on first responders.

“I really have a special place in my heart for first responders, and Lori and I really just talked about providing services to police and firefighters. Such an important piece,” Jones said

One of Jones’ goals is to normalize going to therapy and working on oneself, “, especially with the first responder community they have not traditionally been great about coming here and seeing somebody like me because they think it makes them look weak or whatever.”

“Really some of the most courageous people I’ve ever seen in my life have sat on that couch and first responders and others that get their lives together,” Jones said.

Among the event’s attendees, Kentucky State Senator Donald Douglas spoke out on Kentucky Senate Bill 12, which offers privacy protections for Kentucky doctors seeking mental health care.

“We just passed legislation in this particular space, and we’re looking for counselors in different areas, at least for physicians now, and we’ll be doing the same thing for police and ultimately other care providers,” Douglas said.

In October, May said that the chamber will hold a luncheon on mental health in the workplace, and Jones will be the speaker.

Jones takes private pay only because it is “aggravating to deal with insurance,” but he will soon take Medicaid and Medben, which first responders use.

“But, I’ll work with people. I don’t ever want to turn people away. Like first responders, I’ve really worked with them around paying less.” Jones said.

Jones is currently taking new clients. If interested, learn more about Compass services on its website: www.compasscenterky.com/home.