Thanks to a federal grant Redwoods Rural Health Center in Redway and Singing Trees Recovery Center in Richardson Grove are teaming up to offer free substance abuse and mental health counseling.

The partnership is afforded by a $150,000 Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. The goal of the partnership is to increase opioid abuse treatment, prevention and awareness but counseling for alcohol and other drugs is also available.

“We we’re really fortunate to get this funding last fall,” Redwoods Rural Health Center Executive Director Tina Tvedt Schaible said.

The funding started in September and will provide an additional $75,000 for subsequent years, she said.

“But we were planning with Singing Trees before this grant was received,” Schaible said.

The funding allowed the health center to double its behavioral health office space and recruit more counseling staff but Singing Trees staff members who specialize in addiction services have been at Redwoods Rural’s Redway practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

“They have that expertise,” Schaible said about Nicole Fewell and Robin Fleckles.

Singing Trees representatives didn’t return a request for comment before the publishing deadline.

According to a Redwoods Rural Health Center press release, Fewell is a lifelong Humboldt County resident with over 2,000 hours of clinical experience in group and individual counseling settings. She’s been with Singing Trees for almost three years. Fleckles has been in the area for 25 years and has over 5,000 hours of clinical experience in group and individual counseling settings, according to the press release.

Redwoods Rural counselors will continue offering the services they’ve offered in the past.

“Anxiety and depression are common diagnoses we see at our clinic,” Schaible said. “It’s great to have substance abuse counselors on staff.”

Singing Trees offers in patient addiction services but that’s not available Redwoods Rural clinic in Redway, she said.

“It’s for all substances, alcohol and other drugs,” Schaible said. “We’re not here to accuse or judge we’re just an additional resource.”