The Wellness Group moves to new location

Published 12:50 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

The Wellness Group LLC, a counseling service, has moved to a new location on Wellness Center Drive.

“In the old office, we got to the point where we had some therapists that shared offices,” Owner Jeremy Smith said. “Some therapists didn’t work after school in the office, they just worked in the school system and things like that. Now, we have the space where everyone has their own office and it is a lot better for our clients.”

Getting to a new location was about a year and a half process. Staff moved into the new building on March 20, and an open house for the community is being planned for some time this month.

Smith said when he looked at property that the Chilton County Health Care Authority had for sale, “it was just the perfect location” to build on.

The new location doubles the space for the company to about 6,000 square feet.

Smith said it was important in the design of the building to keep a feeling of home, “not just a sterile office building.”

“When people are coming to address their mental health, deal with some of the struggles they have in life, and sometimes the hardest times in people’s lives, sometimes something as simple as that can make a big difference in making them feel comfortable right from the start,” Smith said.

This approach can be seen in the choices made for the exterior look of the building as well as décor and accent pieces on the interior. Smith said “calming kind of mellow colors were chosen for the offices.”

“Everything we did in the design of the building from start to finish was based on what our clients would need, what we would need to be able to better serve the community,” Smith said.

Being off the main road is another aspect of the location he sees as a benefit to help some potential clients be more comfortable seeking help. Smith said for some there can still be a bit of a stigma about mental health.

“Now, there is so much more emphasis placed on mental health that is more a day-to-day talking point,” Smith said. “People are more focused on it (metal health) and people spent a lot more time and energy addressing their mental health, which is a very, very important thing,”

The new building gives additional space for specialized services, including two rooms for play therapy for children.

“We have a registered play therapist on staff,” Smith said. “… These two rooms have the ability to record both audio and video, so if we are doing any kind of specialized training or anything like that, that needs to be recorded, we have that.”

There is space dedicated to supervised visitation, and a conference room provides a better space for the anger management, parenting and professional development classes that The Wellness Group offers.

Changes have also been made to how clients enter and exit the building, so they are leaving a different way they came in.

Additional parking was also a key component of the new location.

Future plans include adding a playground.

“We are really just trying to identify every way we can help the community,” Smith said. “… Part of that playground will be sensory-based for children with autism, things like that.”

The Wellness Group was established in 2008. Since then, it has grown to 11 licensed counselors, three licensed social workers, one certified hypnotist and two front office employees. There are also two interns working at the facility this semester.