Former Panthers player Steve Smith to fund new behavioral health center in Charlotte

Former Panthers player Steve Smith to fund new behavioral health center in Charlotte

Former Carolina Panthers player Steve Smith has announced plans to create a new Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center in Charlotte in partnership with Mecklenburg County and Alliance Health.

The center will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and provide addiction and mental health treatment to children and adults.

Speaking to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners last week, Smith said he had been developing the idea with Deputy County Manager Anthony Troutman since March last year, and he said the issue would was deeply personal.

“I’m a survivor of domestic violence and I understand that the things you have to deal with start with mental health,” he said.

Smith told the commissioners that he and his mother experienced domestic abuse growing up, and he hoped the establishment of a behavioral health center in Charlotte would help others in similar situations today.

“I don’t do it because it sounds good. I do it because I know what it is and have experienced it personally,” Smith said.

The new center will be built on Colonnade Drive in east Charlotte near Bojangles Coliseum. Mecklenburg County committed $2 million for construction, and the Steve Smith Family Foundation and Alliance Health also committed $800,000 each for construction costs.

The center will be run by behavioral healthcare provider Daymark Recovery Services, which currently operates two similar centers in Rockingham and Asheboro. Daymark CEO Billy West told commissioners it would be the first 24-hour behavioral health urgent care center in Charlotte.

Smith served as a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers from 2001 to 2013, before leaving for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. He retired from the NFL in 2017. Smith said he wanted to establish the behavioral health center in Charlotte as a way to give back to the city.

“I want to continue to honor my city who adopted me, and that’s my goal. And when they buried me here, I want to leave a legacy for the city the same way they changed the legacy. of my family for generations,” Smith said.

The new center is expected to open in January 2023.

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