MHA is excited to begin working on its proposed pro-bono counseling center at 3701 Latrobe Drive, Suite 140 in Charlotte. Through a major investment from Mecklenburg County’s ARPA (American Rescue Plan) Funds, MHA will be able to renovate the suite—which was donated to the agency many years ago—to improve services to individuals who may not be able to afford counseling.
“As our employees return to the office in a post-pandemic environment, we envision our employees working a hybrid model,” said Executive Director Kathy Rogers. “As a nonprofit, we want to fully utilize our assets in a way that serves the community and fulfills our mission to provide help, offer hope, and promote mental wellness.”
The organization will transform Suite 140 offices into a pro-bono counseling center that is staffed with students from Johnson C. Smith University and UNC-C who are in graduate programs (including MSW and MA in Counseling) seeking to pursue an internship experience.
Creating a counseling center at MHA would achieve the following outcomes:
- Increase access for individuals (youth and adults) to receive free counseling services;
- Provide students the opportunity to learn and practice, under clinical supervision, and receive clinical exposure through a meaningful internship experience.
- Provide universities with a partnership to connect students to clinical/counseling placements
- Increase the pipeline of clinical providers of color, through internship opportunities.
Funding from UnitedHealthcare and Mecklenburg County’s ARPA grant allowed MHA to create a new full-time position which will help with counseling intake, as well as answering calls and connecting individuals to resources. Rebekah Bagley was named MHA’s Mental Health Navigator in May, a position created to improve our Information and Referral services. The position provides support to overcome obstacles faced in accessing or receiving services needed to maintain well-being. Rebekah offers compassion and understanding as a certified peer support specialist, who formerly supported individuals at Promise Resource Network. Rebekah is a NAMI Youth Ambassador, Emotional CPR Facilitator, and QPR trainer. Rebekah has experience working in a peer run respite, and warm line where she assisted individuals experiencing emotional crisis. She is an experienced public speaker, speaking at events to share her mental health wellness journey to inspire others. Rebekah is enrolled at SNHU to receive her BA in Psychology, with plans to start a Masters of Social work and Juris Doctor Program next year. She is excited to be a part of the team and looks forward to the opportunities going forward.
In July, MHA will be interviewing candidates for the newly created Counseling Center Manager position, seeking a licensed therapist who can provide clincial supervision to the students delivering the counseling. MHA hopes to open the center in fall 2022 with Mecklenburg County residents impacted by the pandemic and without the ability to pay, eligible for free counseling. In the meantime, free short-term counseling is available through MHA.