Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Provider Spotlight

 Provider Spotlight   
Cynthia Rudick, Ph.D. 

Dr. Cynthia Rudick is a Give an Hour™ provider who works with veterans from all the branches of the services and National Guard in and around Canton, Ohio. A Ph.D. in counselor education with a background in marital and family therapy, she teaches as an adjunct in graduate counseling programs. She is also a professional mediator and arbitrator and raised two stepchildren who are now grown.

Cynthia's experiences working with both Vietnam and Iraq war veterans have enriched her compassion for military clients. "They seldom have worked things through, often because of shame or pride. The young men and women who serve today were raised with the threat of terrorism beginning with September 11. For them the world is filled with people who do not value human life, and that's a fear-filled place to be." Cynthia's grandparents were originally from Poland and Russia, and she lost many in her family in the Holocaust, so she understands the existence of horror.

Her first Give an Hour™ client was a young woman who had been diagnosed as having a mental health issue and was dismissed from Basic Training. The woman had volunteered in hopes of eventually getting money to go to college and because she was desperate for some structure in her life. "The woman was so needy. I told her, of course I will work with you but in return you must work with me." Cynthia, who has run Welfare to Work programs and Mental Health Centers, referred her to all the free services in the Canton community that she could think of as well as the Cleveland Hospital. She hopes the woman availed herself of their help. "I wish the military would assess these kids at the recruitment level," Cynthia says. "My client was not mentally healthy enough for the military. Because of the large National Guard presence, we also need family mental health services around Canton, especially for children and teenagers."

Cynthia's second Give an Hour™ client was a woman whose son, an only child, had recently returned from his second deployment to Iraq and would not talk to her. The son was all the woman lived for. She had worked hard to support the two of them when he was growing up. "She told me, 'I'm a mental case because he is so withdrawn,'" Cynthia says. "I told her that she could come anytime to talk with me. The main problem," Cynthia adds, "is that these soldiers need to share their experiences with others who they can trust and who understand what they have gone through." Cynthia is an enthusiastic supporter of Give an Hour™ and hopes to work with more clients on the organization's behalf. "I understand how critical these services can be," she says. "So many of these young people have been unable to work their emotions through to the light at the end of the tunnel."

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