Mental health issues of concern to the AAUW | Way of life


There is help in this community for those who suffer from mental health and addiction issues. The American Association of University Women learned of the help available when Josh Pierce spoke at their recent meeting.

Pierce is president and founder of the Cornerstone Center for Counseling. He grew up in Tehachapi and moved to attend college. Over the next 10 years, he studied to become a minister, but in 2012, after suffering a mental breakdown caused by depression, he shifted his ministerial focus to tackling the stigma of mental illness and mental health care.

In November 2017, Joshua returned to Tehachapi and opened Cornerstone to provide affordable mental health care to a community in need. After a year of working in the local jail as an addiction counselor, Pierce began to see the need for a comprehensive addiction treatment program in Tehachapi. Cornerstone was set to open in March 2020 and fill that void. Then COVID-19 shut things down. Now they are in a new location, fully staffed and ready to serve the community.

Pierce introduced Veronica Corcona, one of Cornerstone’s counsellors. She specializes in helping abused women and working with those who abuse. She said abuse is a family pattern and those who grow up with abusers often become abusers themselves.

The AAUW women learned that Pierce and his team work tirelessly to serve those in need in Tehachapi, especially those trapped in the disease of drug addiction. Pierce speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves.

AAUW promotes equity and education for women and girls. The Tehachapi Mountain branch is community-minded and proud of its involvement with Tehachapi, especially its scholarship program and Tech Trek activity. See for more information.

Phyllis Belcher is a member of the AAUW.


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