A new business has opened its doors in Morris. North Country Counseling, founded and owned by Charline Bengston, opened in October in Morris.
Bengston began the business in 2017 in Glenwood, later opening a location in Alexandria that closed its in-person services during Covid.
Bengston wanted to provide mental health services for rural areas specifically due to the gap in coverage for rural areas. Originally from the New London-Spicer area, she knew she wanted to serve rural communities that didn’t have accessible coverage. “Once you hit Glenwood to the South Dakota border, there is nothing for services for that whole side of the state, and even into South Dakota,” she says.
Morris was a natural choice for an office location, she says, due to being one of the “bigger” cities in the area, as well as a community that many commute to for work and school. Both of the providers who work in the Morris office live passed Morris and closer to the South Dakota border, making Morris a strategic location for an office, as well. Bengston adds, that as a University of Minnesota alumni, she was drawn to a town with a UMN campus.
Bengston herself is a licensed marriage and family therapist who operated in private practice for 10 years prior to starting her own practice. She is also a licensed provider and board-approved supervisor in both Minnesota and South Dakota.
Being the only provider in the company licensed in both Minnesota and South Dakota, Bengston has provided services for clients in South Dakota through telehealth, noting the significant gap in coverage for mental health services there, as well.
The Morris office has one therapist and one psychiatric nurse practitioner and has space for one more professional if the right fit is found.
Megan Johnson, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, grew up in a rural Minnesota farming community and is passionate about bringing mental health services to rural areas.
Jessica Spaulding, board certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, has been practicing since 2007, and has worked in all areas of nursing including long-term care, medical-surgical, operating room, emergency care, and mental health.
North Country Counseling offers both in-person and telehealth services and accepts most insurances. Even if a provider in the Morris office isn’t a fit for you, another provider within the company may be and can be accessed via telehealth.
Office hours are based on need so far. Spaulding is available Mondays through Thursdays and offers both telehealth and in-person services, and Johnson is available Wednesday and Thursday in the office, and Monday and Tuesday with Telehealth. It is important to note that crisis work is not a service offered.
North Country Counseling serves many areas of mental health service and doesn’t limit itself to just one niche area.
Bengston says that the move to the Morris community has been positive, and is grateful for the outpouring of support she’s seen so far.
If you are interested in finding out more about the providers and services offered by North Country Counseling, you can visit their website at northcountrycounseling.net or call the main office at 320-428-0744.