GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — May is National Mental Health Awareness Month.

The Kellin Foundation is dedicated to helping people through recovery no matter what stage of life they are in. The nonprofit provides free services to 12,000 people a year who have mental health challenges. Patients include children living in violence, teens who want to end their life and adults battling substance use disorders.

Rick Mozena is a certified peer support specialist. He battles a mental illness and uses his recovery experience to help other adults heal.

“My journey was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. But it is the best thing I have ever done in my life. and I have found my purpose in life to help other people,” Mozena said.

Tammi Taylor worked with a peer support specialist after receiving her diagnosis in college. Now she gives hope to people who walk through the doors of the Kellin Foundation.

“It’s hard to get up and start your day. But we give them support by saying ‘I’m glad – if all you could do today was brush your teeth and get back in bed, that was enough for today.’ And people need to hear that,” Taylor said.

She has started a support group for Black women to break the stigma of asking for help. She says therapy is for everyone and it is important to get help when you need it.

The Kellin Foundation also has licensed therapists and social workers who provide clinical counseling services. Support from the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro helps the Kellin Foundation bring on more staff to meet demand. A recent merger with Mental Health Greensboro has expanded the team’s reach.

The organization’s co-founder and executive director, Dr. Kelly Graves, says a recent increase in service requests is likely due to more people recognizing the importance of mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People have an innate resiliency. People are strong. Sometimes the things that happen in our life can weigh us down, so we are honored to be able to help people along their journey to wellness and help them find that strength that they’ve had inside them the whole time,” Graves said.

The Kellin Foundation serves patients within Guilford County at 8 locations, including its main clinic at 2110 Golden Gate Drive in Greensboro. You can find out more by visiting www.kellinfoundation.org, emailing info@kellinfoundation.org or by calling (336) 429-5600.