Dr. Richard Connell, owner of Connell and Associates Behavioral Health Services, wants to better serve Killeen.

Connell and Associates Behavioral Health Services has made things a little easier for its Killeen area clients.

The Lampasas-based diagnostic and counseling service opened a new office at 3106 S. W.S. Young Drive, suite B, in April.

“I’ve been in practice in Lampasas for about 17 years, and during that time, I’ve provided services to many people who live in the Killeen-Fort Hood area, so I made a decision about six months ago … to better provide services to these folks,” said Dr. Richard Connell, the practice’s owner.

A secondary reason for the expansion was to bring in other providers, Connell said. The move allows for therapy instead of only doing assessments.

“We used to have to refer clients out (for counseling),” Connell said.

The business now has two full-time therapists and a psychologist on staff, with another psychologist on staff soon. Connell and Associates offers evaluations and treatment services for ADHD, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional disorders.

Foster children are a particular interest for Connell.

“Working with foster children has made me realize how incredibly resilient children can be and has also caused me to have tremendous respect for those who choose to become foster parents,” he said.

Foster children often have myriad challenges to overcome. “Foster children tend to struggle significantly in school, and have a much higher incidence of mental health difficulties as compared to the general population,” Connell said. “For these reasons, proper assessment is crucial in ensuring that they receive every appropriate form of intervention to help them succeed.”

Connell sees a lot of children on the autism spectrum, and a number of soldiers who struggle with PTSD.

“It’s really tragic to witness the devastating impact these disorders can have on service members and their families, but we also see many of them making substantial improvement through ongoing, intensive therapy,” Connell said.

Convincing service members to seek mental health can be hard, Connell said. But they are community he wants to serve.

“I think service members are often reluctant to acknowledge experiencing these symptoms out of fear that doing so will jeopardize their career, or for other reasons, and many don’t seek treatment until after they have made the decision to leave military service,” he said.

Expanding to Killeen has been a positive move. “I’m just so happy to be here and to be a part of this community,” he said. “I’m just happy to support (the military) any way I can.”

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