COUNCIL BLUFFS - Overcoming an addiction can be one of the most difficult challenges a person can face in life.
Mary O'Neill helps people meet that challenge.
As Iowa behavioral health director for Heartland Family Service, she is responsible for substance abuse, gambling addiction and mental health treatment programs; the Assertive Community Treatment Team; and Iowa and Nebraska prevention services.
O'Neill finds it rewarding to see people's lives change.
"I really like that we can see how well our clients do when treatment is available to them," she said. "I really enjoy working with my staff. We really feel like we're serving the most vulnerable population."
Sometimes people need help in more than one area, O'Neill said.
"You see a lot of clients that have substance abuse and mental health or substance abuse and gambling addiction (problems)," she said. "Our substance abuse program and our mental health program combined, we probably see right around 1,300 clients a year.