CONCORD — Through recent grants, VIDA Wellness is able to offer free mental health services to many in the community.
VIDA received grants from Mental Health America, Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) and the city of Concord. Some of the funds were given through the American Rescue Plan 2021.
Co-founder Yuly Rodriguez said the counseling staff at VIDA has seen an increase in need for mental health services during the pandemic.
“We understand that due to the pandemic, and even before that, there was always an issue to accessing mental health services,” she said.
According to a CDC report from June 2020, 31% of adult survey respondents reported anxiety or depression symptoms, 26% reported stress-related symptoms and about 13% reported struggling with substance abuse. Overall, there was an increase in adults reporting anxiety, depression or stress symptoms compared to reports from 2019.
When VIDA opened during the pandemic, it offered a sliding scale for people to be able to afford mental health services, but Rodriguez said more people are in need of services but can’t pay.
“The pandemic really brought the beneath to the surface. Anxiety and depression is something that many Americans suffer from,” she explained. “But I think that losing their jobs at an alarming rate, having a fear and anxiety for their well-being and safety made folks realize that this is something that they could not put in the backburner. But at the same time people were losing their employment which can mean their access to medical care.”
Each grant has different criteria for patients to receive free care for anyone living in Cabarrus County, North Charlotte and children.
The Mental Health America grant will cover the cost of up to six individual counseling sessions for patients with no insurance and who are located in North Charlotte and Concord.
The grant through CHA is partnering through the local school systems to give children access to care. Rodriguez stressed that VIDA does not offer play therapy, so the ages are restricted to 7 years and older.
The funds given through the city will cover individual, group and support counseling for patients living and working in Cabarrus County.
Rodriguez said those who think they may qualify for covered services through one of the grants can contact VIDA.
“If they don’t have medical insurance, or if they have high co-pays, or if they can’t afford mental health services for whatever reason, they can just reach out and we will try to figure out a way to accommodate them to any one of those grants,” she said.
VIDA has a licensed mental health clinician who provides individual counseling sessions for children, adults, families and couples. The wellness center will also be adding group therapy.
The center has bilingual staff members and offers services in Spanish.