Funding loss forces Wellspring to close doors
After providing counseling services since 1994, the nonprofit Wellspring Counseling Center of Truckee will close its doors for the last time on June 29.
The closure has been several years in coming as funding sources dried up.
“A couple years ago there were state budget cuts that cut back on funding to the counties. They then had to cut back on funding to various agencies,” said President Brent Collinson of Wellspring’s board of directors. “Nevada County is mandated to provide a certain level of mental health services, but they only have limited funding up here.”
The Center provided mental health services for uninsured and underinsured individuals, families, couples and adolescents in need of help. The Center also offered anger-management and parent-child-interaction therapy, as well as training for interns hoping to work in the field.
With the nonprofit provider closing, Truckee residents will be steered toward the private sector, an expensive alternative.
“I think that there’ll be a lot of people who desperately need help and they’re not going to receive it,” said Supervising Therapist Polly Ryan of Wellspring. “There’s going to be personal suffering and sometimes that causes other people to suffer. I’m really sad this is happening.”
According to Collinson, the decision to close the counseling center was decided about a month ago by the board of directors because of the shortage in financing.
“We tried to figure out a way that we could sustain ourselves, but we were just unable to come up with something that would work,” Ryan said. “We couldn’t find a way to keep it going.”
“It’s real problematic because the people who need the counseling can’t necessarily afford to go to the other end of the county,” said Collinson.
Before the closure, Wellspring received funding from grants, donations and patients, who sometimes paid on a sliding scale for their services.
“The sad thing is,” said Collinson, “that the money that could be spent on mental health counseling is a lot cheaper than the impact of not having that through substance abuse and crimes and domestic violence.”
Ryan believes the reason Wellspring found it difficult to acquire backing lies in the nature of the center itself.
“Mental health services are unique in that its something people don’t really talk about,” Ryan said. “It’s so private.”
The Center opened in 1994 and according to Ryan, helped hundreds of people in the Truckee area.
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