Church Contributes To Mental Healthcare In Arkansas

(PRWEB) April 3, 2004

With the recent closing of some local psychiatric care facilities and the increase in our area’s population, some in Northwest Arkansas have had trouble finding quality mental health care at an affordable price. One local church has decided to do something about it.

The New Hope Fellowship Church in Springdale has restructured and reopened the New Hope Counseling Center. The Center, staffed with a full-time licensed counselor, is helping clients who suffer with addiction, marital issues, parenting issues, depression, and other tough situations.

Cliff Jenkins is the founding pastor of New Hope Fellowship Church, which started the center originally in 1999. “One unique thing about our center,” says Jenkins, “is that we charge clients on a sliding scale, based on their income.” This is in contrast to the regular “flat” hourly rate charged by other area counseling facilities. According to Jenkins, this allows all clients access to care, regardless of their financial, or insurance, situation.

The center closed briefly earlier this year as they hired new counselor, Jim Wunderle. “We’ve made the decision to expand and restructure the center to better serve our community,” says Wunderle. The center will be adding recovery and support groups, as well as topical seminars on parenting and marriage. The center already provides individual counseling sessions, and a special 4 week pre-marital program as well.

“Restructuring the center was something we knew we had to do.” says Jenkins, “We’ve always believed that local churches should be involved in their communities, and the counseling center is just one way that we are able to do that.”

Jenkins hopes that the new groups, and full-time counselor will help ease the strain on local mental health agencies that have been overwhelmed since the closure of Northwest Medical Center’s Psychiatric Floor. “While we aren’t equipped to deal with in-patient psychiatric illness, we can help people overcome daily life issues, from a Christian perspective,” says Jenkins.

The center is open immediately for individual appointments, and recovery groups will be forming soon. Those interested in the center’s services can call 479-751-HELP or go to the church’s web site at: http://www.newhopefellowship.com

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