2017 Annual Report
2017 has been an exciting and invigorating year of rapid regrowth and new energy within the Samaritan Counseling Center of Atlanta. In the summer of 2016, there was a complete turnover of staff, so we have been busy discerning who we are, how we live out our mission, how we reconnect, and what new initiatives we are called to today.
Reverend Katie Sundermeier began as the Executive Director in May 2016 and hired Florida Huff, Director of Finance and Development, that October. Katie has built a clinically diverse team of five therapists: Ms. Anna Ward Martin, LPC and Clinical Coordinator at SCCA; Ms. Tricia Passuth, LMSW; Ms. Stautcia Singletary, LPC and Registered Play Therapist; Mr. Kumar Krishnan, LAPC; and Dr. Anna Herrington, Psychologist. We also offer Spiritual Direction through our two spiritual directors on staff, Mrs. Florida Ellis, DASD, and Rev. Dr. Julie Johnson, DASD. Our Consulting Partners have helped us grow into who we are today with wise counsel and collaboration: Dr. John Tumeh, Dr. Lauren Edwards, Dr. Catharina Chang Earnest, and Dr. Elizabeth Mehlman. We hope you will review our staff bios on this website.
Each member of our current staff continues with our long history in being committed to offer high quality mental healthcare to each person in need. We integrate spiritual care when desired by the client. We offer a sliding scale when needed. In 2017, our therapists conducted 841 clinical sessions, of which 45% were at the lowest fee level of $25 for a 50-minute session. Fifteen percent of sessions were at our full rate of $150 per session. Twenty-five percent were somewhere in between, and the remaining 15% were part of our partnerships with the Atlanta Children’s Shelter and the Wardlaw Women’s Transition Center.
In addition to individual counseling, we also are committed to offering and expanding our support group offerings. During 2017 we offered support groups for divorce recovery, parents of children with anxiety, and a weekly cancer support group. Our staff led several educational programs this year. We offered a series on teens and technology, led Sunday School classes covering mental health, suicide, and 13 Reasons Why; and provided training for Stephen Ministers on family systems, anxiety and stress, and emotional wellbeing for children. In January, Dr. Lauren Edwards led a suicide risk and prevention training workshop for SCCA as well as First Presbyterian Church staff, and in March we brought in Soul Shop for a full-day suicide prevention workshop for FPC staff, SCCA staff, and Stephen Ministers.
We have continued our partnership with the Edna Raine Wardlaw Coker Women’s Transition Center, in which the residents are offered the opportunity to receive counseling at SCCA. Mid-year we began holding group counseling sessions twice a month at the WTC, giving the women an opportunity to develop their interpersonal skills and improve group dynamics. In September we launched a new partnership with the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, a school for homeless children located at North Avenue Presbyterian Church. Together with ACS we are paying for our play therapist, Stautcia Singletary, to spend two days a week at ACS observing children in the classroom, assessing students, and meeting with teachers and families.
All these exciting opportunities would not be possible without our amazing donors. At our Gratitude Gathering in September we brought together donors, board members, and staff to celebrate the good work we are doing together. In total we received $146,070 from donors in 2017, up from $120,827 in 2016. Grants from foundations totaled $102,610, and individual donors contributed $43,460. Critical to our success are grants from the Shallenberger Fund and the Samaritan Counseling Center of Atlanta Fund at the Atlanta Community Foundation. Our work with the Women’s Transition Center is funded through grants from the Wardlaw Foundation as well as the Luther and Susie Harrison Foundation. Out of the 47 families that made contributions to SCCA, 11 gave $1000 or more, 20 gave $500 or more, and 29 gave $250 or more. We are grateful for each and every gift, as every $25 helps someone who can’t afford it receive the care they need.