LGBT therapy service relies on donors after partnership ends

PROVO, Utah (AP) — A Utah therapy service is using donations to provide subsidized mental health services after parting ways with a youth LGBTQ resource center that funded the operation.

About 200 clients followed their therapists after Flourish Therapy and the nonprofit Encircle split in May, The Daily Herald reported Tuesday.

Encircle moved to an in-house provider, but many of the mental health professionals invited to join Encircle followed Flourish director Lisa Hansen.

"The community reached out and donors just came out of the woodwork with small donations, up to larger ones, that have enabled us to help keep functioning while we are anticipating corporate grants" Hansen said.

According to workers at Flourish Therapy, about half of Flourish Therapy clients receive free services, many of whom are teenagers who don't have insurance and can't afford therapy.

"We have taken guns out of cars, we have found people passed out in their homes, we have talked a lot of people off ledges," mental health therapist Laura Dulin said.

The two-year partnership ended after attorneys advised Encircle that a nonprofit paying for a for-profit organization to handle its therapy services could lead to issues with the IRS, Encircle CEO Stephenie Larsen said.

Despite tensions, both organizations still support one another.

In an online statement, Encircle encouraged donations to Flourish Therapy.

"The more resources that are out there and available for these youth and their families, the better," Larsen said.

Flourish Therapy's future remains uncertain; however, mental health professionals have remained hopeful that funding will be secured soon.

"There is a lot of faith going on right now," Dulin said.

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com