Counseling and mental health services available at T.E.A.C.

by Nancy Vondrak

Since 1992, The Emergency Assistance Center in Northfield has been highly regarded in the Nordonia Hills community for all the services it provides. In addition to being a food pantry, it offers clothing and hygiene products, seasonal support food programs, and onsite services from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. In June, behavioral health and counseling services was added to that list.

T.E.A.C. recently partnered with Portage Path Behavioral Health to offer initial consultations and counseling services at the T.E.A.C. facility at 9199 Olde Eight Rd. Services are open to Summit County residents on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Most insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, are accepted and payments are based on a sliding scale.

The partnership started last January when Dr. Phil Scozzaro, director of research and special programs at Portage Path, called T.E.A.C. Executive Director Joyce Hunt. Through research of the northern Summit County area, Scozzaro and his organization determined a need for behavioral health services. Hunt introduced him to the Nordonia Hills Community Connection, a group of organizations that collaboratively offers access to resources for those facing adversity, and plans started to formulate.

According to Scozzaro, “The whole push for community mental health started around the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring of 2020 as a lot of people were experiencing anxiety and depression.”

Portage Path Behavioral Health, which is headquartered in downtown Akron and has been in existence for over 50 years, was looking to expand its reach. In addition to two Akron facilities, Portage Path has clinics in Cuyahoga Falls and Barberton. Scozzaro describes Portage Path’s conduit with T.E.A.C. as a mini-clinic extension of Portage Path Behavioral Health.

“Portage Path offers evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and support groups,” Scozzaro said, adding that information about services and client testimonial videos are available at

Those who schedule an appointment will initially meet with Scozzaro at the T.E.A.C, one of Portage Path’s locations, virtually, or by phone. “After that initial consultation, care will be provided on a case-by-case basis,” he explained.

Said Hunt, “The T.E.A.C. is thrilled to partner with Portage Path Behavior Health. Their staff members are kind, knowledgeable and compassionate. Prior to our affiliation, we did not have a place to refer people to locally. We’re grateful to offer this level of care to those who seek it.”

Scozzaro added, “You don’t have to go through this alone, there is help available. It’s about overcoming the stigma of mental health. It’s better than 30 years ago, but there’s still a long way to go.”

An appointment can be scheduled by calling T.E.A.C. at 330-467-7945 or Portage Path Behavioral Health at 330-253-3100. ∞