C-3 Counseling LLC works to dispel stigmas around mental health

Published 9:30 am Thursday, May 4, 2023

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a reminder that everyone could use counseling, therapy or someone to talk to from time to time.

Dr. Eric Marks Sr., owner of C-3 Counseling LLC, is encouraging people of all ages not to let their mental health fall behind their physical health.

“I pastored for several years in a few different churches and had met quite a few people along the journey who needed guidance in areas of personal, family and marital counseling. As a pastor, I was always doing counseling from a pastoral standpoint. So, I decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in counseling to better help the people I was serving within the churches,” Marks said.

Marks said an experience at Gardner Newman Middle School strengthened the calling for him to become a counselor.

“I came across a lot of parents as well as their children that needed help along the way. I noticed that they weren’t getting the help that they needed. That was another guiding factor into becoming a counselor,” Marks said.

C-3 Counseling LLC offers Christian-based marriage counseling, adolescent counseling, singles counseling, counseling for veterans and more.          

In his time as a counselor, Marks said the best part has been seeing clients overcome their struggles.

“When a client finds themselves or overcomes an issue, they were struggling with a light goes off, and they understand what they need to do and how to make that change is always rewarding and lets me know we are making progress,” Marks said.

In minority communities, issues with mental health are often stigmatized as being a weakness, Marks said.

“There is a huge stigma within our community, especially of color, with regards to not wanting people to know our struggles. We don’t want people to see us as being weak,” Marks said. “One of the things that I did to normalize talking about mental health is a program called the Fatherhood Program, which is 24/7 Dad with CAFI. Men particularly have a hard time sharing feelings and admitting to those things. What we do is we reach out into those areas in the community and help them to understand that this is not something to be ashamed of.”

Marks said mental health is something to take hold of because the more people know about their mental state and the things that they go through, the better off they will be as a person.

Along with working with CAFI, Marks said he works with other agencies within the community to bring more awareness to mental health.

“This weekend I’m doing a talk for the Lupus Walk to bring more awareness of mental health stressors that it puts on you physically as well as mentally and emotionally. We’re reaching out to try to tear down some of those barriers by doing fundraisers and being active in the community,” Marks said.

For those apprehensive about seeking counseling, Marks advised people go in with an open mind and do their own research.

“Find out what type of counseling you’re searching for and do due diligence in terms of seeking counsel. If you have a pastor, seek that pastor’s thoughts. If you have come across other folks that have done some counseling, ask them about their experience but do your research,” Marks said.

“Have an open mind when it comes to mental health counseling or counseling in general. God has placed certain people to be able to give that gift just like he does in other professions. He places counselors here as well but make sure that it’s the counselor that fits you and don’t be apprehensive about it because your mental health is a key to your physical as well as your spiritual growth.”

C- 3 Counseling LLC is located at 406 Ridley Ave.