To support the healthy development of Memphis children, their families, and the community, ACE Awareness developed Universal Parenting Places — UPPs. These judgment-free zones are places where parents, grandparents, and other caregivers receive professional counseling with a licensed therapist; information, emotional support, and referrals for family-related issues and concerns; as well as participate in stress-reduction and parent-child bonding activities — all at no cost.
In the same way that visits to the pediatrician help parents with common medical concerns related to physical illness, the UPPs use the latest brain science and best practices in family therapy to solve common concerns affecting children’s social- emotional health.
UPPs provide preventive, relationship-based opportunities for parents and caregivers to get answers to questions about common challenges and sources of stress that affect them and their children, including:
■ Positive discipline strategies
■ Conflict between parents, such as divorce
■ Bullying and aggression
■ Peer or sibling problems
■ School adjustment issues
■ Welcoming a new baby or entering into a blended family
■ New parent feeling overwhelmed or depressed
Individual counseling is the primary way the sites help parents address ACEs. However, each UPP incorporates interactive arts — improvisational theater, music, drum circles, and exercise classes — into some of its stress-reducing, skill-building group sessions through relationships with community partners.
Today, there are four UPPs in Memphis:
- UPP at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women (6225 Humphreys Blvd., 5th floor), the only freestanding women’s hospital in Memphis.
- UPP at Knowledge Quest (990 College Park Drive, Suite 104), a longstanding nonprofit organization that promotes youth and community development in South Memphis.
- UPP at Perea School (1250 Vollintine Ave., 2nd floor), operated by Church Health, the largest faith- based healthcare organization of its type in the nation.
- UPP at Christ Community Health Services (3481 Austin Peay Highway), the largest primary healthcare provider in Shelby County.
In 2017, the foundation awarded funds to Leland Medical Clinic in Leland, Mississippi, to establish a fifth Universal Parenting Place. Though based on the original UPP model, the site operates independently in that community.
For information about the therapies available at each UPP location, the current schedule of events, or to schedule a meeting with a counselor, visit www.TheUPPs.org.