Chattanooga Black business owner starts counseling center during pandemic, social unrest to help destigmatize mental health

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Joyre Montgomery / contributed photo

Joyre Montgomery has not only recently earned the title of local Black business owner, but one that has started a therapy and counseling center in the midst of a health care crisis that is having profound effects on mental health. 

In late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported having struggled with mental health issues or substance use as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Montgomery, a licensed clinical social worker, opened the Intentional Healing Empowerment Center in July and provides mental health and therapeutic services for children, adolescents and adults. The center is located at 6727 Heritage Business Court in Brainerd.

“Opening a business during a pandemic has been a difficult thing to do,” Montgomery said. “But my position and my role actually helped speed up the process of approval.”

Montgomery said it usually takes up

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