In 1914, Helen Ross took a walk with her nanny to Eastern State Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. Seeing the overcrowded conditions and patients’ faces sparked a lifelong desire in Helen to change the way people in east Tennessee get the mental health support they need. Fast forward to the early 1950s, the Helen Ross McNabb Center was formed. Now, they encompass 33 locations, including the Chattanooga offices, where staff saw 1,700 adults and 1,900 children last year.

The Helen Ross McNabb Center is a not-for-profit provider of behavioral health and social services focused on improving the lives of the people they serve. Employees at the Center know every client has needs beyond clinical mental health care, so they offer a variety of transitional and holistic services. They also provide separate services and care facilities for children, an added benefit to their model.

Adults can receive support from the Helen Ross McNabb Center through multiple venues. On-site diagnosis and counseling provide a starting point for other services like the Lighthouse Peer Support Center or Building Stable Lives coaching, to name a few. For women of child-bearing age, the Silver Linings Intensive Outpatient Program provides intervention for women who have given birth to a child diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or women who are at-risk of giving birth to a child with NAS because of prenatal substance abuse.

Children and youth thrive with unique care and tailored facilities. The Child & Youth Homeless Outreach Program is designed specifically for children who experience or are at-risk of homelessness and related Serious Emotional Disturbances (SEDs). The Chattanooga children’s location is hoping to add a therapeutic playroom in the near future.

“I get excited with the opportunities we have to make life more bearable for our clients,” said Gayle Lodato, senior director of Greater Chattanooga. “We believe in providing access to a welcoming environment where respect for our clients is top priority.”

United Way of Greater Chattanooga is a proud supporter of the Helen Ross McNabb Center. If you or someone you know would benefit from mental health support or someone to talk to, visit their website or call 1-800-255-9711.