Nonprofit offering low-cost therapy to temporarily close doors of Mountain View clinic

Community Health Awareness Council, or CHAC, will close its doors at 590 W. El Camino Real on Tuesday. Google photo.

Daily Post Staff Writer

A nonprofit that has offered low-cost therapy in Mountain View for 50 years is closing its clinic because of financial struggles, the executive director said yesterday.

The nonprofit, called Community Health Awareness Council or CHAC, will close its doors at 590 W. El Camino Real on Tuesday.

“We had a generous, heartfelt mission. But we weren’t recovering enough fees,” interim Executive Director Anne Ehresman said in an interview yesterday.

The CHAC clinic offered therapy to more than 400 people in the past year, including with Spanish-speaking therapists, Ehresman said.

Appointments cost between $30 and $130, compared to around $200 for private therapy, Ehresman said.

The CHAC board will consider reopening the clinic at some point, and a merger with another organization is also on the table, Ehresman said.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted on June 13 to give CHAC a $1 million grant to stabilize operations.

“CHAC has built trust with the community and parents and delivered absolutely essential services,” Supervisor Joe Simitian said in a statement. “I think is the first step toward a secure future for CHAC and the community members it serves.”

CHAC should work to become eligible for MediCal funding to get reimbursed for its services, Simitian said.
Eherseman replaced retiring Executive Director Marsha Deslauriers earlier this year. She found that the organization had a deficit of around $750,000 on a $5 million budget.

“If we kept operating the way we were operating at that moment, we would’ve ran out of all our resources by the middle of August,” Ehresman said.

CHAC will continue providing mental health services to schools in Sunnyvale, Los Altos and Mountain View.
CHAC will also keep running family resource centers under the umbrella of another nonprofit, called First 5 Santa Clara County.

Those contracts cover all of the costs to CHAC, Ehresman said.