Bethel Haven

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Bethel Haven has experienced a “drastic increase” in clients seeking counseling, according to Executive Director Melinda Allen. The growing needs were met partly due to a Jackson EMC Foundation grant that provided therapeutic counseling for those who otherwise could not afford the services, she adds.

The cost for services is already reduced at the Christian-based nonprofit, in Watkinsville, which provides therapeutic counseling and mental health support services to distressed children, teens and adults. By offering sessions with a sliding scale fee, Bethel Haven removes financial barriers so that anyone seeking professional therapy can receive it. Through Project Hope, gifts from organizations like the Jackson EMC Foundation cover costs for those most in need of help.

Since 2007, Bethel Haven has provided emotional and mental health support for the community, according to Allen. She says their counselors serve more than 250 clients and more than 80% of them report improved mental health thanks to therapy sessions at Bethel Haven. As members of the American Association of Christian Counselors, the licensed counselors at Bethel Haven serve families struggling through difficult life situations involving grief, divorce, depression, anxiety, relationships and other issues.

“We give families the tools they need to thrive,” says Allen.

The 13 professional counselors at Bethel Haven fill a gap for mental health services in Northeast Georgia, according to Clinical Director Taylor Mason. “We look for integrity, a high level of training in clinical health and a Christian worldview, someone who’s sensitive to all, nonjudgmental, supportive, and cares about instilling help, hope and healing.”

Because no nonprofit is an island unto itself, Allen says Bethel Haven partners with other nonprofits and with 12 area universities to meet the community’s mental health needs.

“We work with multiple nonprofits, including Sparrow’s Nest, a drop-in center for the homeless,” she says. “There are many individuals who, without support and healthy coping skills, can end up right back in the same situation, so it’s important to provide them with therapy from a professional.”

Allen put the Jackson EMC Foundation at the top of her list when it comes to “who shows up to meet community needs.”

“We could not have filled this need without the Foundation,” she says. “The partnership with universities, other nonprofits and organizations like the Jackson EMC Foundation – when you see a community in alignment like this with this common love, it’s just amazing. It’s what this community is all about: It’s love for one another.”

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