Linden pastors help community gain access to mental health care

Pastor Yaves Ellis and Taelor Gray are working together in a grass-roots way to help the Linden community.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The City of Columbus has experienced a continuous rise in violence over the past two years.

A group of pastors said that the violence has left a trail of tears and trauma that loved ones are left to carry. To help their communities heal, they’re partnering with the CARE Coalition to assist individuals, and families in Columbus’s Linden and Far East Side neighborhoods to mend after a tragedy has taken place. 

“Even after trauma, there’s still more life. Even after issues and death, there’s still more life and you can have that life and live it abundantly,” said Yaves Ellis, pastor of New Birth Christian Ministries. 

Taelor Gray, pastor of Linden Life Fellowship said, “There’s a whole lot to talk about in the South Linden community specifically right now, but much of the talk is about the violence that we’re seeing from younger people.”

Gray and Ellis are teaming up to provide free counseling services at no cost with a new “More Life: Trauma Reduction Program,” which has been an issue for many people in those neighborhoods. 

“I have other medical issues going on, so I’m trying to like to save my health insurance dollars for that versus like, you know, counseling,” said Kenny Harris, who participated in the pilot program. 

“It definitely helped me figure out why I was having trouble communicating with other people, like how I felt,” Harris said.

The churches will serve as a hub for free counseling services with the Columbus Public Health Care Coalition.

You can learn more about the program at a mixer at the Idea Foundry Saturday, June 4 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

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By Percy