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Johnathon Herston and the Circle of Care for Families will partner with Auburn University starting Aug. 19 to provide income-based mental health treatments with Auburn Marriage and Family Therapy Center.

Circle of Care to provide income based mental health services

VALLEY — The Circle of Care Center for Families is adding to its services with the help of Auburn University.

Circle of Care Executive Director Johnathan Herston said the Auburn Marriage and Family Therapy Center on Auburn’s campus will provide income-based mental health services.

“We have sent a lot of referrals out there for years, but what we found was that transportation to get there has been a massive barrier,” Herston said.

He said Circle and Care and the therapy office have been in conversations about providing a satellite office in Chambers County to have affordable therapy.

“Our new building is what is making that a reality because it will give us the space to do it,” Herston said.

Herston said Michael Schiferi of the therapy center will begin seeing patients on Aug. 19 in the current Circle of Care building. When Circle of Care moves to the its new building in the Valley Medical Park, Herston said Schiferi will have a dedicated office. 

“We are really getting something special right here in town,” Herston said. “People will no longer have to drive to Auburn and navigate Auburn’s campus.”

Circle of Care provided the funds to the get the program started by paying for an assistantship at Auburn University.

However, the therapy center will collect the funds based on the patient’s income and whatever funds are collected will go toward paying for the program the following year.

“We are investing on the front end with the expectation and intent that it will become self-sustainable,” Herston said.

He said the cost of a session can range from $50 a session to $5.

Normally, if you go for a session, you will pay at least $75 or well over $100,” Herston said. “To have it at that affordable rate is really something that will allow people who could afford counseling in our area to have access to it. Also, to have it here local, that is real winning situation.”

To schedule an appointment, Herston said call (334) 521-2259.