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Gundersen Viroqua Clinic welcomes two seasoned behavioral health counselors

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gundersen Viroqua Clinic is a place where people who need mental health services now can be cared for by Gundersen professionals.

The clinic welcomes two counselors to the staff whose names and faces are familiar to Viroqua, Westby and around Vernon County—Kevin Schmidt and Paul Schmidt.

"Gundersen Health System recognizes the importance of communities having local resources for mental health care," says Anne Berget, administrative director of Gundersen Behavioral Health. "There has been a gap in these services available close to home for Viroqua area residents, and by adding mental health services to our Viroqua Clinic, we will improve access to local care."

Kevin Schmidt, MSSW, LCSW, is excited to be providing a wide range of care in the town he knows well. Viroqua is just down the road from his Gays Mills home.

Joining him in practice is long-time colleague Paul Schmidt, MSSW, LCSW, of Viroqua.

The two are not related but are not strangers. Both men are well known in the Viroqua region, having practiced together in town for many years.

They're together again, at Gundersen Viroqua Clinic.

"We both hope to pick up with past clients as much as we can, reconnect with referral sources and other agencies, and expand our services to anyone else who is in need," says Kevin. "As a counselor in a rural area, I have learned that it is essential to be a generalist provider. There is great value in being able to care for most any patient. There are so few providers around, and the community need is so great."

Kevin is an experienced counselor in alcohol and drug dependencies and their impacts on patients, their families and communities. He also counsels teens who are overwhelmed, using drugs, high achieving or under achieving, and young people struggling with gender, sexuality and senses of self. Kevin also focuses on issues of nutrition, diet and exercise and eating disorders.

Paul is a licensed clinical social worker, clinical substance abuse counselor and an independent clinical supervisor of addictions. He concentrates on trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy for adolescent boys; post-traumatic stress in adolescents and adults; attention deficit, executive function deficits and other learning and behavioral disorders; and addiction.

"I have more than 30 years of healthcare experience and have been a psychotherapist and provider in Vernon County for over 23 years," says Paul. "I have experience in therapy in many different settings from outpatient clinic, in-home, residential and day treatment settings."

"I am looking forward to continuing my practice in the community in which I have lived in and served and I am also looking forward to the stability of the continuum of services that Gundersen will have to offer my clients, myself and my practice."

When not caring for patients, Kevin can be found tending the family's hobby farm with his wife, Scarlet, and their three children—including a newborn.

For Paul, a West Salem native, personal time is spent coaching basketball, exercising, attending sporting events and being with his family. He and his wife have two adult children.

To schedule an appointment with Kevin or Paul, call (608) 637-3195.

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