Parish Health and Wellness in Red Bluff
By Christy Milan
Respite & Healing
Story by Christy Milan
Photos by Eric Leslie
SOMETIMES IN LIFE we need to reach out and ask for help. It is not always easy. The Parish Health and Wellness Counseling Center in Red Bluff offers a hand up, and owner and founder Linda Spyres shares her story of strength, perseverance, hope and faith.
Spryes was born and raised in Illinois. “My mom, Roberta Brown, was a hard worker. She was up at 3 am to start her waitress shift and be home after school. As a child, I had no idea of her strength. It has only been in raising my four children, working and taking care of a home, that I began to realize how she put us girls first.”
The other women in her family were also hard-working, responsible and considerate, she says. “They were rural women who loved to crochet and needlepoint. I never knew people who did not provide for themselves. We were raised if you earned it, you could get it; otherwise, you go without.”
She came to California after experiencing several of her own life’s hardships, including three suicide attempts and drug rehab. Some of her children struggled with health challenges. Her 10-year marriage included addiction and ended in divorce, and later his death. Despite the tragedies, however, she learned to love herself and follow her dreams.
She went back to school and earned her associate in arts degree and bachelor’s degree in psychology. “I was thrilled because God has been changing my life and I wanted to learn as much as I could about the Bible and God,” Spryes says. During this time Spyres needed to find employment, and began working for the county in 2006 as an aide. Through the years, she moved up to a drug and alcohol counselor, then to a licensed clinical social worker.
The Parish Health and Wellness Counseling Center was originally a house, which the children’s paternal grandmother, Lu Parish, had built on the property. “She was thrilled to hear that when she was done with the house, I had dreams to use this as a healing center,” Spryes says of Parish, who passed away shortly after the house was built. “She told and showed me it is never too late to go for what makes us happy. This business makes me happy. In the past, it was raising my children, getting my education, working hard and providing a home.”
As far as the name, Spyres says, “It honored the lady that built it, it honors my children’s heritage, and Parish reminds me of Southern churches giving glory to God. God is at the center of all I do. None of this would be here without His love and guidance,” Spyres says.
She plans to hire more clinicians. “We are operating from a group format where each professional has their own practice; we all work under the Parish name and framework. They can set their own hours, focus on their specialty and use their therapeutic approach, all while having the foundation of being part of a group.”
Spryes believes the clinic has a hopeful future. “With 40 acres, we have plenty of room for expansion. The business is a lot; I get fear-based thinking I am not enough, and then I remember, if God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.” •
Parish Health and Wellness • 22425 Sunbright Ave., Red Bluff (530) 528-2342 • www.parishhealthandwellness.com
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