Safe Haven Foundation Gala

Enrich, Empower, Engage Gala 2019

Article By Staff

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You’re invited to support the incredible work of Safe Haven Counseling Foundation, while enjoying a fun evening out, at the second annual Enrich, Empower, Engage Gala 2019. 

The Gala is hosted and catered by Hubbard’s Off Main, 16 E Choccolocco Street, in Oxford on December 5. The evening will begin at 6:00 pm with musical entertainment from Haley Plunkett and Jeremy Lesley. Guests will have time to peruse items in a silent auction while enjoying the music before dinner is served at 7:00 pm. Clinical Director Angela Gregg will address the gathering before the evening ends at 9:00 pm. 

Tickets are $30 per person and are available for purchase on safehavencounseling.org. 


Safe Haven runs solely on public donations, which is why events like this Gala are crucial to helping people in our community receive the mental healthcare they need.

Sponsorships for the event are available for both individuals and businesses. Individual sponsorships range from $25 to $100, and business sponsorships range from $250 to $1000. 

Contact Safe Haven Counseling Foundation for sponsorships.

One in five US adults experience mental illness each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. That translated to more than 47 million people in 2018, and less than half of them received treatment. 

Many people face depression, stress, and anxiety during the holiday season, explained by the NAMI as Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern (formerly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD). This depression is “characterized by recurrent episodes of depression in late fall and winter, alternating with periods of normal mood the rest of the year.”

The topic of mental health becomes more normalized every day with a growing number of people talking about it and encouraging others to drop the stigma around it. So why are less than half of those in need getting help? 

Let’s face it, mental health services aren’t cheap, and unfortunately people with and without health insurance miss out on getting the help they need due to financial constraints. 

Andrea Gregg and Cami McKenzie saw this problem in Northeast Alabama and stepped up to help. In 2015, the duo founded Safe Haven Counseling Foundation, a faith-based 501(c)3 non-profit. 

Gregg, Clinical Director, and McKenzie, Administrative Director, believe that everyone deserves access to quality counseling services, regardless of income. Safe Haven offers sliding scale fees based on the client’s income. Client fees range from $30 to $70 per visit. 

“We determine their sliding scale rate, which is going to be based on their income, then we pay the difference,” Gregg explains. “The idea is that it’s helpful for both the client and the counselor because so many counselors want to be able to work with the people who really need their services, and so often those are the people who can’t afford their services.”

When a client contacts Safe Haven they are given a questionnaire to determine their situation and counselor preferences. When approved, clients begin with six sessions, and they may reapply for additional counseling after completing the initial six visits.

Safe Haven partners with counselors in Oxford, Alexandria, Jacksonville, and Gadsden. Without a brick and mortar office space, Safe Haven Counseling Foundation is able to help as many people as possible by keeping their overhead costs low. “Last year we saw 44 clients,” McKenzie shares. “And we provided 235 sessions.”

Trauma | Grief/Loss | Depression | Anxiety | Addiction | Play Therapy | Attachment | EMDR

Safe Haven runs solely on public donations, and there are options available for those who want to support the organization. A one-time donation of $360 provides six sessions for someone seeking help. In addition, donors may set up recurring donations to ensure that counseling sessions may continue. 

Furthermore, friends, family members, and church members are able to sponsor a loved one seeking therapy though Safe Haven Counseling. Every dollar donated for counseling sessions is earmarked to go directly toward helping the client. 

“While providing counseling sessions is the biggest thing that we do we also try to work in the area for advocacy,” McKenzie says. “We go to different community events and we are up at Jacksonville State University a lot just to try to normalize mental health care, and that’s just a really big mission for us.”

“We also offer community training,” Gregg adds. “Free events that we try to do a couple of times a year just to provide information on mental health issues that people commonly face. We’ve done community training on grief support and domestic violence.”

To learn more about Safe Haven Counseling Foundation and the services they offer or to explore the ways you can donate, visit their website at safehavencounseling.org.

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