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Doris Moore and the Center for Holistic Development are celebrating 20 years of serving the community

When Doris Moore decided to enter the behavioral health field, she wanted to answer one question, “Why do people feel the way they do?” With no mental health background, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology, she returned to school 14 years later and received her Master’s degree in Community Counseling.

Moore is the founder and CEO of Center for Holistic Development (CHD), a non-profit focused on providing mental and behavioral health counseling and prevention programs in North Omaha.

The CHD offers programs that provide a culturally competent approach to address the behavioral health care needs of the Black community. Eighty percent of the clientele the organization serves is African American.

Moore is passionate about the work she gets to do on a daily basis. She refers to the work as “a calling” and she feels it is her mission to help others recognize how important their mental and emotional state is for living a productive life. Moore says, “There is a counseling term called stinky thinking. That is how your life will be; if you think you can’t, then you can’t. If you think of the positive possibilities, than you can.”

She also recognizes there are some individuals that have severe mental illness due to traumas, negative influence, racism, abuse, and micro aggressions. All these things impact our ability to be our authentic self and how we move forward.

“I recognize when people are struggling with depression or anxiety, and I want to know what is behind that. What is the thing that makes you feel life is becoming a challenge and question if living is worth it?,” says Moore.

(Photo:  The late Betty Nelum, first contract therapist at CHD; Pastor Kenneth Allen, Senior Pastor of Zion Baptist Church; and, Doris Moore, CEO and Founder Center for Holistic Development)

She opened the doors to CHD in 2001 with the goal of providing a holistic approach to behavioral health care services to her community. Moore developed a model that focuses on the balance and well-being of individuals. She created the acronym S.P.E.C.I.A.L.™ which focuses on specific areas that she and her team practice within the CHD.

Spiritual – Acknowledging and valuing the presence of a higher power that influences your life’s purpose to create inner peace.

Physical – Adhering to standards that promote appropriate diet, weight, exercise, and rest.

Emotional/Economic – Ability to understand, recognize, and manage personal emotions. Also developing an approach for economic stability resulting in adequate finances to meet one’s obligations.

Cultural – Recognition and appreciation of your cultural and ethnic heritage as a positive influence on self-concept.

Intellectual – Promoting and participating in a personal philosophy of lifelong learning.

Associations (Social) – Developing and maintaining a social support system that encourages and enhances the positive self.

Love for Self and Others – Recognition and appreciation for self. Valuing the gift of interconnectedness to all individuals.

CHD provides intervention, prevention, education and community outreach services. The goal is to help perspective clients understand what mental health is, and what is defined as mental illness. CHD also strives to provide information to dispel the stigma and increase utilization rates through a staff of diverse mental health professionals.

(Photo:  Center for Holistic Development Team)


Services Provided by CHD:

Center for Holistic Development is focused on four key areas which are related to bring mental and behavioral health:

  • These programs are designed to interrupt potential negative influences that challenge mental health.
  • Become an advocate for your own mental health and your self-care. Recognize the connection between mental health and total health care.
  • Community education. CHD offers free behavioral stress screenings on their website, org.
  • Intervention: CHD has professional mental health counselors that provide individual or family counseling, and substance abuse counseling.

CHD Prevention Programs are offered for 0 to 99 years of age. Many of the programs have made adjustments due to COVID restrictions.

KidSquad. The program works with teachers, staff, and parents at childcare centers to help children who have challenging behaviors.

Real Talk. A program within four Omaha Public middle schools that is now offered virtually due to COVID. The program is geared toward building social and emotional competence in middle school age students.

Urban Youth BOLT (Building Our Leaders Today) The program provides early intervention and prevention, and works with youth referred from the families, agencies, and the Juvenile Assessment Center.

Family Engagement and Resource connection. Provides parents with evidence-based techniques to enhance nurturing and parent engagement within all levels of parenting.

GrandFriends for Grassroots change. A mentoring program for young adults ages 19-30 to be matched up with seasoned adults.

CHD has seen an increase in the demand for counseling since the beginning of the pandemic. Due to COVID-19, the center offers socially distance or virtual counseling services for individuals, groups, youth and adults.

Most people haven’t recognized all the feelings that can be triggered from COVID. Emotions can range from anxiety and  guilt,  to  grief and depression.

Moore says, “There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about the virus, and the volumes of information regarding the testing, vaccines, etc. There is guilt with the fact of screening positive and unknowingly infecting friends and family. It is important to find a balance and manage the myriad of emotions associated with this challenging time. While some people struggle with mild mental or emotional symptoms, and others are challenged with more severe concerns. When life gets to be too much, contact a behavioral health specialist. Just as with other medical conditions, treatment can be paid for through your insurance.”

“While there is a more heightened level of stress and loss of control and grief, it is important to stop and take care of yourself.”

The Center for Holistic Development offers a free anonymous online mental health screening for individuals on their website, and offers a free meditation video featuring Felicia Webster on their Facebook page: Facebook/CHDOmaha.

For more information about their programs, visit chdomaha.org or call 402-502-9788.

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B.J. Nelum Lighthouse Award

Betty Nelum was the Center for Holistic Development’s first contract therapist. Nelum had a long history in the community of providing behavioral health care and substance abuse services. She also assisted with the fundraising for the organization. Moore considers Nelum instrumental in getting the company to where it is today.

Since her passing in 2014, the CHD honors her legacy by presenting the BJ Nelum Lighthouse award to a recipient at their annual fundraising luncheon. As the Center for Holistic Development, Inc. celebrates 20 years of service to the community, they are deeply indebted to those who have helped them reach this momentous milestone.

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