Serenity Recovery Centers in Memphis Receives NIH Grant
More help is coming for pregnant women and new moms in Memphis who are living with substance abuse disorders.
Serenity Recovery Centers received more than half a million dollars from the federal government on Wednesday, enabling the facility to expand the work it does for mothers and babies, executive director Paula Hopper said.
“We are thrilled because we know that there are also many disparities for women in accessing services. There is so much shame. There’s so much struggle and so many hurdles for them just to be able to get treatment,” she said. “We are delighted with it and we are happy to do this work.”
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Serenity is one of two programs in Memphis that can provide residential treatment services to both a mother and her children.
The check for nearly $525,000, which comes from the National Institutes of Health, was presented to Hopper by U.S. Representative Steve Cohen, D-Memphis.
Cohen said he believes it is a government’s primary responsibility to provide health care to its citizens. He said Wednesday was a special day.
“These are women and children coming into the world who need a little help and that’s what this grant is for,” he said. “Women, minority women, mothers, postpartum, their children who need a break to start in life. Too many people don’t have the same opportunities as others.
The “Healthy Life” program, which the grant will help fund, supports mother and baby as well as partners, spouses or fathers to try to keep family units together when possible, Hopper said.
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Serenity has been providing services including residential and outpatient treatment, counseling, drug treatment, and aftercare in the Memphis area for half a century. The center serves more than 700 people each year and more than 20,000 people in the region have gone through Serenity’s treatment programs.
And many more people continue to need help, Hopper said.
“We know that we currently still have an opioid crisis,” she said. “We know we have at least 13,000 people in this county, in our community, who need addiction services.”