As women working in the mental health field, my trailblazing business partner and founder, Jennifer Emch and I branched off to open a for-profit private practice, Ubuntu Wellness, LLC., in Chardon, Ohio. With our combined experience working in community mental health, we were gravely struck by the limitations to quality care including, but not limited to, healthcare structure, high turnover of employees, impractical expectations of productivity, limited room for creativity, low compensation, and especially: limited progress in clients who suffer from mental illness as an effect of the aforementioned variables.
With backgrounds in dance and massage therapy as well as the trauma informed modality of counseling, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), we opened our doors as a for-profit holistic health center on April 1st, 2016. Our revenue stream relies heavily on insurance panel compensation and private pay for counseling, Reiki, massage therapy, dance, yoga, wellness workshops, and corporate wellness. And as expected, our highest revenue stream is counseling. Alongside Jen and I, four counselors: two certified art therapists and two other counselors specializing in evidence-based modalities, seek to provide treatment plans embodying the needs of clients while adjunctively recommending they use movement and bodywork to supplement and often shorten the duration of the healing process. Also, because our client base is primarily women, we provide many wellness workshops and counseling informed on treatment of postpartum, perinatal, infertility, sexual health and abuse.
We strive to provide a much more diversified approach to mental health and holistic health care.
We strive for people to feel liberated and empowered by equals unthreatened by a hierarchical structure.
We strive to educate our clients of the normalization of trauma and mental illness and how we adapt in a world inundated by it.
We strive to embody our name Ubuntu: “I am what I am because of who we all are”.
And since COVID-19 has shaken the world and subsequently shut down the majority of our brick and mortar businesses for the safety and health of humanity, we continued to provide telehealth services and free and donation-based classes on social media through Zoom and other platforms. What is missing though?
There is so much missing to this mental health puzzle. We believe that it is important for everyone to experience healing without stigma as a community. We believe having a robust online presence is essential to the unification needed in not only the healing process of trauma, but the new normal we will likely be seeing for an unforeseeable future. With that being said, Ubuntu wants to make these online counseling groups available delineated by gender, age group, and counseling modality as necessary.
We are also in the process of becoming voluntary facilitators of SMART (Self-management and recovery training) recovery meetings which is a model of recovery from any addiction using evidence based approaches.
We came across your mission somewhat randomly through another small business owner’s Instagram account and would like to admit that I’m unclear if this proposal is what you are seeking. This unprecedented time has awoken us all to the beauty of humanity and the vision we had when opening Ubuntu. For all you are doing on a grassroots level, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Erin Moore, M.A., LPCC, LMT
Ubuntu Wellness, LLC
Jennifer Emch, M.Ed., LPCC-S
Ubuntu Wellness, LLC