Letter writer: Mediation Center offers important help to resolve conflict

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Randy Molton’s cartoon from March 2 highlights how difficult it can be to see the possibilities for resolution, healing and hope in the midst of conflict, and why it’s important for residents to have a local resource to help navigate when there doesn’t seem to be a path to resolution. Since 1983, the Mediation Center has helped neighbors, co-workers, and families move through difficult and stressful conflict and find common ground.

When people work together to resolve conflict, we have healthier families, safer neighborhoods and a more peaceful community for everyone. We believe that people know what’s best for their own lives. Mediation allows you to sit face to face with the other person, tell your story and express what really matters.

Mediators, who are often volunteers, won’t tell you what to do, make decisions for you or decide who is right or wrong. Instead, mediators walk participants through a process to find a resolution that works for everyone.  Eighty-five percent of people who come to mediation walk away with their conflict resolved.

As the July 7, 2015, story by Mountain Xpress [contributor] Lisa Sarasohn pointed out, “conflict is, by definition, nerve-wracking, gut-wrenching, and stressful.  As a way to resolve disputes, mediation can reduce the stress associated with conflict” [“Sigh of Relief: Mediation Moderates Stress, Resolves Conflict in WNC”].

If we can help you, your family, your neighbors or your organization, call us at 251-6089. Services are free or offered on a sliding scale, and we rely on community support to make this possible.  Give online at www.mediatewnc.org/donate.

— Laura Jeffords
Executive Director
The Mediation Center

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