Since opening in January, Mental Health America of Central Carolina’s free mental health clinic in east Charlotte has treated 53 people.
The center opened in January 2023 and has goals to provide therapy services to minority communities and people without health insurance.
Interested people can self-refer, be referred by other organizations and even walk in to receive treatment.
“We don’t want cost to be a barrier,” Kathy Rogers, MHACC’s executive director said.
Rogers said the clinic supports clients “with an inability to pay,” specifically those uninsured and underinsured.
“We know access to care, particularly in communities of color, is an issue, and often the cost is a barrier,” Rogers said. “We believe everyone should have access to mental healthcare.”
The center offers free short-term counseling, and access to connections for food, housing and employment resources.
The center is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for in-person or virtual sessions, at no cost, to residents ages eight and up across Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties..
The free center is currently staffed with graduate students from Johnson C. Smith University and UNC Charlotte under the supervision of clinical director Megan Bryant.
“Creating this counseling center provides students the opportunity to learn and practice under clinical supervision and receive clinical experience through a meaningful internship,” Rogers said. “In addition, it is an opportunity for us to help increase the pipeline of therapists of color through internship opportunities.”
One drawback, Rogers said, of working with students is that the center is not able to provide treatment for more severe cases.
“We’re really not able to take complex or severe mental health cases,” Rogers said.
The program is supported by Mecklenburg County’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
The center is located at 3701 Latrobe Drive, Suite 140.