Last month, the ACE Awareness Foundation opened its first Universal Parenting Place (UPP) outside of Memphis at the Leland Medical Center located at 201 Baker Blvd in Leland, Mississippi—a major milestone on the path toward bringing this national model of preventative care to any family in need.

This is the fifth overall UPP launched by the Foundation aimed at providing families with licensed professional guidance and experiential learning in order to prevent common childrearing challenges from becoming chronic problems. As we have seen through the four other locations in Memphis, the UPP sites are a first line of defense for battles in the home with addiction, poor health, poverty and other hardships that directly affect the brain development of a child. The opening of the first clinic outside of Memphis demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to social entrepreneurship and vision of opening UPPs throughout the region and country to bring meaningful, systemic change.

UPP sites are dedicated to delivering practical information, guidance, and emotional support for family-related issues or concerns, no matter how large or small. The Leland Medical Clinic UPP offers the Delta judgement-free licensed counseling, personalized information on adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress, and long-term support to build skills needed to cope with the normal challenges of child-rearing or family-related issue. All at no cost. Besides developing a new therapeutic model using ACE factors for licensed therapists, the Leland UPP also offers a number of family-friendly activities and events.

Parent and guardian access to no cost support to help them navigate difficult, stressful situations is made possible by a partnership with the Delta Health Alliance.

“We are thrilled to bring a Universal Parenting Place to support the community in the Mississippi delta,” said Ellen Rolfes Executive Director of the ACE Awareness Foundation. “We have witnessed the tremendous impact of our programs through the four clinics we operate in Memphis and are excited to extend the services of our groundbreaking Universal Parenting Places to the children, parents, and caregivers of the Delta.”

The Leland UPP has proven to be a fast success, with high turnout for the twice-weekly Zumba fitness classes and a summer arts program sponsored by the Delta Arts Alliance featuring local artists such as Lawson King and Celia McHardy. More ALT therapies will be developed in the coming weeks to further drive participation by the community.

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