Marley House Building a Healthier Community

Jakie the therapy dog with child - Marley House Building a Healthier Community
Jakie is a certified therapy dog and brings comfort and understanding to families.

Loretta was ready to surrender her son to the state because of behavioral issues when she found Marley House Behavioral Health Clinic.

"They were able to turn him and me around," she said. "If I had not run into their services, I honestly don't know where we'd be."

The goal of Desert Mission, the community and social service programs of the John C. Lincoln Health Network, is to build healthier communities through integrated services. The Food Bank feeds families. The Community Health Center provides vaccinations and health care. The Children's Dental Clinic provides no-cost or low-cost dental care. Neighborhood Renewal offers affordable housing and homeowners' assistance.

More in HealthBeat

healthbeat cover november december 2012

This article appears in the November - December 2012 edition of HealthBeat, John C. Lincoln's free health newsletter.

ยป See the current issue

And, Marley House helps families stay together and see a brighter, more stable future.

"We are able to touch the whole family with the services we provide," said Debbie Davis, MA, LPC, clinical director at Marley House. "We can see the kids in the schools and help them learn positive coping skills and perhaps engage the family in family therapy and then we can introduce them to our medical and dental. We need whole health to be successful."

Fees at the licensed outpatient clinic are on a sliding scale based on need and ability to pay. Services include counseling and intervention, such as general mental health and substance abuse, and prevention outreach at schools. Desert Mission programs also accept AHCCCS.

Jakie, a certified therapy dog, works alongside Debbie, particularly with the children.

Community Support

Each year, on average, Marley House accommodates:

  • 1,719 counseling sessions.
  • 294 families in counseling.
  • 129 children in group sessions with Jakie the therapy dog.

"Children are our future," said Cindy Hallman, executive director, Desert Mission, and vice president, John C. Lincoln Health Network. "I believe helping them today to be strong citizens will only help us all tomorrow. It changes what our community is."

Debbie sees that change one family at a time, such as one boy she met as a student when she started at Marley House. She then worked with his family; there was domestic violence and abuse in the home. He was the first to graduate from high school in the family, and now he's married with a healthy family of his own.

"They are really doing well," she said. "We don't get everybody, but the kids that we do get, it's just so amazing how they can change their lives."

When you give to the John C. Lincoln Health Foundation, you support the life-changing programs of Desert Mission.

Learn more about Marley House at

Return to main News page.