On December 14, a groundbreaking ceremony and grand opening celebration was held for the Guiding Hope Counseling Center, which opened in July of this year.
Melanie Irwin Pennington, owner and therapist of the Guiding Hope Counseling Center, said the center offers a wide range of counseling services for children 5 years and older, adults and anyone with mental health issues, depression, anxiety, stress and family issues. The need for these services, Pennington said, is vital in the community and has been demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel like a lot more people are taking it more seriously now, just with things like depression, anxiety. A lot of people started to feel this when the quarantine took place, ”said Pennington. “Which I think will help end the stigma that is still associated with mental health from time to time.”
As a Hazard native, Pennington said she always wanted to be able to give back to her community and own her own business, so it was a magnificent achievement.
“It has always been my dream to have my own private practice, but above all to give back to Hazard,” she said.
The Guiding Hope Counseling Center is located at 933 N Main St, Hazard, and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information on services, call (606) 439-0900.