We just broke ground on a new mental wellness center!
The Kids to Love Foundation broke ground Monday on the Smith Family Wellness Center, in honor of Mark C. Smith — another step forward in the foundation’s mission to meet the needs of children living in foster care.
The new Center is located at the current Kids to Love Center, at 140 Castle Drive in Madison. It will house therapy rooms and offices for the Grant Hill Trauma Team. The new facility was made possible by a generous donation from Linda Smith.
“This new facility will fill a critical need in the foster care community,” said Kids to Love Founder and CEO Lee Marshall. “Every single child in foster care has experienced trauma in some form. That trauma needs healing, and we know that trauma can be treated. Our team is ready to meet that need and get these children the help they need to live healthy lives.”
The Mental Wellness Center’s aim is to change the trajectory of children’s lives by dealing head-on with the trauma of abuse, neglect and abandonment. The Grant Hill Trauma Team, including Kids to Love’s clinical director and team of therapists, will offer a new approach with Instinctual Trauma Response treatments. This ITR treatment will determine the level of trauma a child has experienced and address the trauma they’ve experienced in order to improve their cognitive and behavioral health — areas where most children in care struggle. ITR treatment reduces or eliminates troubling symptoms caused by any trauma, including in-utero or pre-verbal trauma.
The Grant Hill Trauma Team is made possible by a generous donation from Brad and Stacey Hill in memory of their late son, Grant. Grant, a Huntsville native who played football for the University of Alabama, was working toward a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology when he lost his life in a tragic hunting accident. Grant’s dream was to establish a counseling center to work with young adults and athletes struggling with depression, addiction and trauma.
Children living in foster care have a number of mental and behavioral health needs and currently in Alabama, there are significant delays in getting them support. That support is causing harm; their foster family placements get disrupted, they end up in situations where they’re moved to more restrictive levels of care or institutionalized, and treatment is usually limited to once a month. The Mark C. Smith Wellness Center will allow the Grant Hill Trauma Team to treat children with no delay and no limitations on how often they’re seen. Therapists specialized in trauma treatment will be able to provide consistent and effective treatment.
In addition to the Wellness Center, the new 10,000-square-foot facility will have a kitchen, warehouse, lab and classroom space for Kids to Love’s private school KTECH, and more.