One Love Services provides free mental health help amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, July 22, 2020

SALISBURY — Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health services are important, says Steve Wideman, who runs a company called One Love Services. 

Through grants provided by the United Way and the city of Salisbury, Wideman and One Love Services are able to provide free mental health and substance abuse services to locals. The company started in Salisbury by providing residential treatment services and it’s adapted and spread as needs have changed and grown. 

“Right now, there are a lot of people that are unemployed, individuals who can’t afford to continue paying their insurance,” Wideman said. “And if you are unemployed and do not have benefits, it’s harder to access services. Sometimes, people are just struggling to make sure their bills are getting paid … Now, we are able to serve those individuals as well.”

Wideman, who first came to Salisbury in the 1980s to play football and go to school at Livingstone College, says that people will face problems like homelessness as a result of COVID-19, but it’s often mental health issues that need to be addressed first before other items. 

“Sometimes, in order to get that roof over their head, they have to get their mental health together,” Wideman said.

The company’s no-cost services are made possible through the Rowan County United Way’s community impact model, which raised about $1.5 million in 2019 to fund mental health, substance abuse, healthy lifestyles and basic needs programs. One Love Services received $175,000 in funding from the 2019 campaign and is set to receive another, slightly smaller grant in 2021 after this year’s campaign. The city of Salisbury added $20,000 from coronavirus relief funding from the federal government.

“Through a combination of the United Way and city’s CDBG funds, we are able to provide services to anybody that has a need,” he said.

One Love Services has offices at 121 W. Council Street. It provides walk-in assessments; around-the-clock outpatient services that include toxicology, psychiatric evaluation, therapy for ages 2 and older; medication management, among other things; and a 24-hour call line for Rowan County. And it’s forming partnerships that extend beyond mental health, so that its clients aren’t faced with sorting out where to go next. Wideman can also offer limited help with medication.

When the United Way announced its grant award in May, Board President Seth Waller said the organization found a highly effective company that “will fill a major deficit for Rowan County all while directly impacting the mental health funding priority.” Deputy Police Chief Shon Barnes said the agency had taken the lead in “funding and supporting community organizations seeking to have an impact on mental health and substance abuse.”

Its model in Salisbury will be based on what’s worked in its other locations, including Morganton and Charlotte, where it has a lab. 

Because of the coronavirus, some people may not be comfortable leaving their homes to seek mental health services, Wideman said. Others may not have transportation to get to the company’s downtown offices. Wideman says One Love Services is able to help with both of those situations, whether it’s through video conferences or transportation to his office.

For more information about the company, visit oneloveservicces.com, call 980-330-7000 during normal business hours or 980-867-1669 24 hours per day.

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