Need counseling? Covenant Counseling Center can help

Holly Viers • Updated Nov 1, 2017 at 3:23 PM

KINGSPORT -– In the U.S., about one in five adults experiences mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

To help meet this need, Covenant Counseling Center of Kingsport provides a variety of mental health services, all at an affordable cost.

Beth Kitzmiller, Covenant’s director, answered the following questions about the center and the services it provides.

What is Covenant Counseling Center?

Covenant Counseling Center’s mission is to provide clinical, professional counseling in a Christian environment. The center has been its own entity since January of 2015; before that, it was known as First Baptist Counseling Center and operated under First Baptist Church in Kingsport.

Kitzmiller said the center has seen clients of all ages, from 4-year-olds to seniors. Excluding schizophrenia, therapists at the center can help with many mental health diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, child behavioral issues, ADHD, PTSD and anger issues. They also provide support for those dealing with grief or marriage and family problems.

How many clients come through the center each year?

In 2016, Covenant served 547 clients, and Kitzmiller expects that number to increase this year. The center has served 443 people through August of this year, she said.

“In 2016, we had a 43 percent growth from 2015 in the number of clients we served,” Kitzmiller said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be that high again this year, but it’s going to be pretty high. … So I think it’s the word getting out and spreading, and it just continues to grow.”

 How do people pay for the services?

Though a couple of therapists at the center accept insurance, most services are paid for on a sliding scale. The scale ranges from $25 to $100 per session based on the client’s income, Kitzmiller said.

Even with the sliding scale, Kitzmiller said some clients are unable to afford the fee. In 2016, about 43 percent of Covenant’s clients paid $25 or less for their sessions.

How is the center funded?

Kitzmiller said Covenant is funded primarily through fundraisers and partnerships with churches and other organizations in the community. These include Bellafina Chocolates, Central Baptist Church, Christ Fellowship, Eastman Credit Union, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Shades of Grace United Methodist Church, Providence Medical Clinic, Temple Baptist Church and Wellmont Health System Foundation.

Businesses, churches or other organizations that would like to become a partner of the center can visit covenantkpt.com for more information.

What does Covenant offer besides individual counseling?

Kitzmiller said therapists offer grief support groups, including a holiday-focused group that will meet Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First Broad Street United Methodist Church. Lunch will be included, and the registration fee is $20.

Therapists have also taught impulse control classes for school-age children, divorce recovery classes and others. They also give talks to local organizations about mental illness.

Why is the center a needed resource?

“There is so much need in our community,” Kitzmiller said. “I think we’re meeting the needs of people who, one, are specifically looking for a Christian environment and want that incorporated as part of their counseling, but also those who can’t afford the services.”

How can someone learn more or make an appointment?

To schedule a counseling session, call (423) 247-4536. For more information, visit covenantkpt.com or search for Covenant Counseling Center on Facebook.


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