Utah Counseling Program for LGBTQ Youth, Adults, Families Moves out of Community Center

  • Flourish Counseling Services leaves Encircle community centers after providing 5,000 therapy sessions for LGBTQ youth, adults, and families
  • Relocates to sites in Provo, Orem, Salt Lake City and St, George
  • Seeks funding to continue offering subsidized and free counseling services

(Provo, UT), May 23, 2019 – The need for quality, culturally competent, and affordable mental health services for LGBTQ youth and families in Utah is extensive and pressing. Since Encircle opened in 2017, Flourish Counseling Services, PLLC, has been the exclusive provider of mental health services at Encircle community centers. Through providing quality services, Flourish has established itself as a top-tier therapy provider to LGBTQ youth, adults and families in Utah – with special expertise in addressing distress from conflicting religious beliefs.

THE NUMBERS

Over the past 2 years of operating in Encircle community centers, Flourish therapists have provided more than 5,200 sessions of critical therapy for LGBTQ adolescents, adults and families. Flourish has provided these services at an average cost of 50% less than the typical cost of comparable therapy in Utah County, while providing more than 2,500 of these sessions at no cost to the client. This has been made possible by Flourish therapists reducing their usual compensation, thereby subsidizing the majority of the mental health care for low income LGBTQ clients and their families. Therapist subsidies covered 43% of the cost (per session) with Encircle subsidizing 36% and client payments covering 21% of the cost. To provide these subsidies for critical mental health care, Flourish therapists chose to reduce their personal income by more than $170,000.

THE TRANSITION

When Encircle first opened its doors in 2017 and invited Flourish Counseling Services to provide on-site mental health services, Flourish therapists had already been individually providing quality LGBTQ counseling services in Utah and Salt Lake County. On April 25, 2019, Encircle announced the termination of its agreement with Flourish, citing the high cost of care. Encircle subsequently announced that its funding subsidy for the 200 LGBTQ clients seen by Flourish therapists would terminate completely on May 25.

Despite the abrupt termination of Encircle’s funding to help subsidize the cost of care, Flourish therapists remains committed to offering low-cost and subsidized therapy for LGBTQ people and families. Effective immediately, Flourish Counseling Services will provide the same high 1 of 2

quality mental health services for LGBTQ individuals, couples and families at its new locations in Provo, Orem, Salt Lake City, and St. George.

Because the funding from Encircle has been unexpectedly and abruptly terminated, Flourish is immediately seeking funds from donors to be able to continue to offer continuity of care to its 200 subsidized LGBTQ clients.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

Over the past five years, Flourish therapists have given more than 100 presentations and conference workshops to increase professional and institutional understanding of the LGBTQ community. These educational contributions will continue and Flourish will also continue to provide training in cultural competency for therapists through its established internship association with universities and its ongoing educational programs and conferences. Flourish will also increase its collaboration with other organizations.

“As therapists with years of expertise providing mental health services for the LGBTQ community, we know the urgent need for competent and affirming care for LGBTQ young people, adults, and families in Utah,” says Lisa Hansen PhD, clinical director at Flourish.

“Our 13 therapists believe that critical mental health services for LGBTQ clients must continue in Utah. We believe that our community will continue to support the quality of care provided by Flourish and our therapists. As we leave Encircle, we wish its programs well and thank Encircle for the past two years of support in providing a welcoming community where Flourish has provided critical mental health services for the LGBTQ community. We look forward to continuing to empower LGBTQ people and bring families together to help support and care for each other,” Hansen says.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: FlourishTherapy.org.

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Flourish Therapy, Inc, is a 501(c)(3) Utah non-profit corporation.