Marriage, family and child counselor Randy Frost has been helping to change the lives of Bryan County kids for the last eight years.
In two weeks, he’ll take that commitment one step further by opening Seaside Health Services in Bryan County, geared at providing affordable counseling to children, adults and couples seeking help.
“There are a lot of issues in Bryan County and a lot of stigmas about mental health that I’d like to help change,” said Frost. “I want to offer programs that help people learn to cope with problems. I’m sick of going to funerals. How many people does it take before we change the way we talk about suicide, depression and mental health?”
This will be the second Seaside Health Services location. Frost opened the first, located on St. Simons Island, in 2000. Both locations offer marriage, family and child counseling, as well as interventions and crisis intervention training.
For the past eight years, Frost has conducted a weekly adventure-based counseling course at all of the public middle and high schools in Bryan County. The 90-minute sessions are aimed at increasing students’ self esteem and building social skills.
“Randy does different problem-solving activities that require the students to use their minds and bodies,” explained Bryan County Middle School counselor Toni Bacon. “They have to work together and use language and communication skills to overcome obstacles as a team and individuals.”
Bacon said Frost’s program is successful because he’s able to get through to the students.
“Kids respond really well to him.” she said. “He’s honest and straightforward with them, and I think they really appreciate that.”
Frost also works with the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Bryan County Drug Free Coalition, Bryan County Family Connection and the Richmond Hill Teen Center.
Judge C. Jean Bolin, the Juvenile Court Judge for Bryan and Macintosh counties, refers many of the adolescents and families who appear in her courtroom to Frost for counseling. She said Frost has a high success rate, and very few of the offenders he counsels ever appear in her courtroom again.
“It’s been my experience that when I send a child or a family to Randy, they always come back better for the experience,” she said. “He treats every family, child or client as his most important, and he offers them a pathway to stability.”
During the summers, Frost also offers week-long summer camps for at risk and underprivileged kids through Seaside. Each camp costs nearly $15,000, and all of the funds covered by private sponsorships and fundraisers.
Frost has served as a counselor and social worker for 30 years, first in his home state of Kansas and then in South Georgia. He doesn’t have a string of initials after his name, but he has collected several certifications in his field and draws from a deep well of personal experience.
Frost grew up in a troubled home without rules or structure. By the time he turned 18, he’d been arrested 16 times and had been using drugs for nearly a decade.
“The things that happened in my past, I’m not proud of. But I am proud of what I’ve made myself,” he said. “I want to help people out, help them avoid the mistakes I made. By doing that, I’m also continuing to help myself.”
Seaside Health Services will be located at 10384 Ford Ave. The office will open in January and will accept various insurance plans. For the uninsured, fees will be determined on a sliding scale based on income.
“There are a lot of people who don’t have insurance but still need help,” said Frost. “I’m not going to turn anyone away. I’m not in this for the money. I’m in it to help people from all backgrounds, regardless of their finances.”
To learn more, call 230-0204 or email seaside172000@Yahoo.com.