Mental Health Matters: Why We Are Bringing Ellie Mental Health to Indianapolis By Scott Cramer
As the demand for mental health care services continues to skyrocket, we are determined to provide our beloved community of Indianapolis with the services that are so desperately needed. We are proud to be opening Ellie Mental Health of Fishers in August 2022.
My wife, Heather, and I have been interested in entering the franchising space for 20 years, but we put that dream of owning our own business on hold to build our net worth and focus on raising our two children. Approximately one year ago, we were finally in a good place to make some moves towards entrepreneurship. Our kids are older, our careers are stable, and it just felt like the right time for us to go down the path to owning our own business. We began working with a franchise consultant who told us about Ellie Mental Health. Our family has experienced the lack of accessible mental health care firsthand. We knew immediately that becoming franchise partners with this brand was the perfect fit, not only for us but also for our community.
Heather was born and raised in Indianapolis, where she attended Butler University and obtained a teaching degree. After years in the field, she then pivoted to recruiting for a large company in their HR department and later got into project management in technology. In addition to her new role as an Ellie Mental Health franchisee, Heather leads a team of software engineers for a cloud-based software services company that implements and monitors the infrastructure of their cloud environment. I am originally from St. Louis, but moved to Indiana to attend Purdue University to study hospitality management and haven’t left the Hoosier State since. For the last 25 years, I have been in sales and sales leadership roles, mostly working for technology and healthcare tech startups. In these various positions, I helped grow several companies’ sales teams and processes.
With my experience in Sales and Heather’s background in project management and operations, it was a no brainer or us to move forward with the Ellie Mental Health franchise. Starting our own business will allow us to apply the skills that we have acquired throughout our careers together. It’s really like every road of both of our careers led us to Ellie.
Not only has our family experienced the lack of accessible mental health care,
but in the last year the media has brought to light the mental health crisis. As big fans of the Olympics, our family watched as star athletes like Michael Phelps and Simone Biles shared their struggles with illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Seeing people with such a huge platform openly share their challenges with mental health was inspiring. Talking about and normalizing mental health issues is absolutely a step in the right direction, and a long overdue one at that. It is extremely important for us to take it to the next level and turn this conversation into action.
The majority of mental health clinics in our area are at capacity. The shortage of qualified therapists is a very real burden. Many clinics are not accepting new patients, or appointment waitlists are months long and the therapists are burning out. We cannot stand by and accept the lack of care availability. So instead of tolerating it or complaining about it, we decided to open our clinic. Ellie Mental Health will help us “fill the gap” of mental health services in our community.
Ellie prides itself on work life balance for the clinician. We offer a warm and welcoming office environment that feels more like home and less like a stale medical office. Our therapists have flexible schedules with in-house clinical supervision. Unlike solo practices, they have a team of other clinicians to provide peer support and case guidance.
As we did our homework on opening a mental health clinic, several things became clear to us. Therapists are looking for work life balance in an extremely strained occupation right now. They are also craving a work culture that thrives on creativity, authenticity, humor, compassion, acceptance and determination….which just happen to be Ellie’s core values. Our goal is to hire an amazing staff, offer a great culture where they will have fun and love work that makes a positive impact.
The Ellie Mental Health franchise model is operationally different than traditional mental health clinics. Centralized scheduling ensures phones are answered and appointments are scheduled timely and efficiently. The technology stack the clinicians will use at Ellie streamlines the day to day administrative tasks which allows them to focus on the patient, not doing hours of paperwork. The Ellie model says, “Happy employees do better work, are more customer service focused, and feel good about the work they do.”
We are beyond excited to officially open our doors in Fishers this August. We are already looking forward to our next project which would be opening four to five more Ellie Mental Health locations in Hamilton County within the next three years. A brand like Ellie Mental Health is needed today and every day in every community. We are so proud to carry out their mission: “To compassionately transform the culture of mental healthcare by providing creative solutions that make wellness accessible in every community.”