Helen Ross McNabb relocating, expanding

Sep. 19, 2013 @ 11:01 PM

Helen Ross McNabb Center was granted $250,000 from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's Health Foundation Wednesday afternoon in Sevierville.

The quarter-million dollars will help the center with an on-going $3 million dollar project to expand services in both Sevier and Hamblen County.

"It's very exciting," Shellie Hall, the center's director of services in Sevier County, said. 

Helen Ross McNabb is a non-profit provider of behavorial and mental health services in East Tennessee, based in Knoxville.

The organization has serviced Sevier County for six years, but just located in the county for the first time three years ago at 707 Dolly Parton Parkway.

"Most of our clients really want therapy," Hall said. "There are not a whole lot of those resources in the county, and what we're finding out is that there are not a lot of mental health services period."

With the closing of Knoxville's Lakeshore Mental Health last year, Helen Ross McNabb Center was awarded additional Behavioral Health Safety Net funding from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health. 

That added approximately 125 more clients to the Sevier County office's rolls.

"That's helped (people) access services, since before, if they didn't have insurance, they couldn't access services anywhere," Hall said.

With only 2,000-square feet available at their Sevierville location, the Sevier County Outpatient Mental Health Clinic has quickly outgrown its surroundings as it provided services to over 2,100 Sevier Countians in 2012 alone.

Now, as a part of its expansion campaign, Helen Ross McNabb has purchased a 4,000-square foot facility at 647 Wall Street in Sevierville. With some of the funds provided by the grant from BlueCross BlueShield, the location will be expanded to nearly double that.

"It definitely helped put us over the top to be able to do (the expansion) quicker," Hall said. "We've outgrown the capacity we're at, so this allow us to serve more invidiuals in an easier manner."

"It's a huge help," Emily M. Scheuneman, public relations coordinator for Helen Ross McNabb, said.

"We're going to add on approximately another 4,000-square feet," Hall added.

The center's Geographic Expansion Capital Campaign will allow the center to develop permanent, stand-alone mental health treatment facilities in Sevier and Hamblen counties.

The Center’s stated goal is to develop new facilities in these counties to centralize services and to provide adequate operating space — which will ultimately increase access to care for individuals who frequently fall through the cracks of the health care system.