Counseling group opening new site

In the past 18 months, a local organization has worked with more than 1,000 parents, children and families that have sought treatment for substance abuse, depression and traumatic life experiences, such as abuse.

Some are children who were having problems with behavior at school, some are parents who are at risk of losing their children due to abuse or neglect and others are men and women who have been convicted of drug and alcohol-related crimes and need help with addiction.

Because of that need, a local nonprofit organization that provides counseling services to families, adults and children is growing.

Adult and Child Center is planning to add a second location in Franklin, joining two others in Greenwood, to keep up with the increasing need for mental and behavioral health services in Johnson County.

Between July 2014 and June 2015, Adult and Child served about 1,000 individuals and families in Johnson County. And as the need for mental and behavioral health services increases, so does the need for more employees, including counselors and therapists, and space to have appointments, meetings and counseling sessions, said Heather Todd, director of communications.

Currently, the nonprofit has four offices in Indianapolis, one in Bartholomew County and three locations in Johnson County, including two offices in Greenwood and one in Franklin. This year, Adult and Child is planning to open an additional location in Franklin, at 1860 Northwood Plaza Drive, along U.S. 31, which has been vacant since Sears Hometown Stores moved out in 2015. The space will be remodeled to house rehabilitation services and offices for 40 therapists and psychiatrists, which will be new jobs added specifically for that location.

Adult and Child wants to borrow $7.3 million through the Indiana Finance Authority that will pay for the renovations to the new Franklin location and two other offices in Indianapolis.

“We are expanding to better meet the needs of people in Johnson County,” Todd said. “We have been growing significantly over the last several years. This space in Franklin will just give us more room to operate.”

Much of their work in Johnson County is school-based, Todd said. Therapists and mental health specialists work one-on-one with children who have behavioral and mental health needs at home and at Johnson County schools, Todd said.

“A big part of our services involve kids who have a hard time managing their behavior in class. We work with kids at our offices and we also have therapists at Johnson County schools who help counsel kids,” Todd said.

The organization also helps adults and families, such as when a family is going through a divorce.

Adult and Child will also work with parents who temporarily lose custody of their children after a case is opened by the Indiana Department of Child Services. The parents, both voluntarily and court-ordered, will work to create a better environment at home and work on their parenting skills. Adult and Child can also help them find a job, Todd said.

Some patients at Adult and Child, such as students who need behavioral help, are recommended to the organization, others sought out assistance and others are court-ordered to see a therapist or seek help with addiction, Todd said. The increase of opioid abuse has contributed to more people seeking help with addiction, Todd said.

“People who have some kind of need hear we are a place where they can get help,” Todd said. “We see patients who are struggling with depression, anxiety and then we look at what else, or what other support they need. Maybe they’ve been abused, lost someone close to them. We see a lot of people with issues stemming from a traumatic experience that requires mental health needs.”

By the numbers

Here is a closer look at the Adult and Child Center:

Locations: 8. Four in Marion County, three in Johnson County and one in Bartholomew County.

Employees: 575 full-time employees

Patients: Adult and Child served about 6,000 people between June 2014 and July 2015. Since June 2014, Johnson County locations have helped more than 1,000 patients needing mental and behavioral healthcare.

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.