Ruth Ellis Center

A combination of wellness and integrated behavioral services available to all young people at Ruth Ellis Center.

Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Centers are integrated healthcare clinics that offer primary care, medical, and behavioral health services.

The Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Centers team dedicates itself to centering young people's and families' needs and goals; we work together to promote optimal health outcomes for all clients served.

We are grounded in and guided by these core values:

  • Commitment
  • Transparency
  • Growth
  • Joy
  • Integrity
  • Responsibility
  • Passion
  • Inclusivity
  • Balance
  • Connection
  • Respect
  • Safety

In 2016, we began collaborating with Henry Ford Health to launch our first Health & Wellness Center to serve LGBTQ+ young people. Since then, we’ve added a second facility inside our permanent supportive housing unit, the Ruth Ellis Clairmount Center.

As part of its community health initiative, Henry Ford Health placed dedicated staff specializing in pediatrics, family medicine, infectious diseases, and psychiatry at Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Centers to deliver hands-on care and medical services to clients ages 13 to 30. There are no out-of-pocket costs for doctor visits, lab work, or medications.

Partners in Our Work

Henry Ford Health Carf International Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network


  • Primary health services in partnership with Henry Ford Health.
  • General primary care: checkups, wellness exams, sick visits, immunizations, hearing/vision screening, health education, onsite prescription pickup, and more
  • STI prevention, testing, and treatment
  • HIV prevention, testing, and treatment
  • Gender-affirming transition care: Hormone therapy, surgical referrals
  • Psychiatric evaluations and medication monitoring


  • REC Behavioral Health (BH) services support and promote clients' behavioral, mental, and emotional health. Ruth Ellis Center staffs and provides these services.
  • Outpatient individual, family, and group therapy (virtual and in-person)
  • Community-Based Family Support Services
  • Parent Support Partner services provide guidance and peer-to-peer support for parents and caregivers.
  • Family Support Model, teaching families and caregivers how to affirm and support their LGBTQ+ child

Transforming lives through comprehensive programs and compassionate care.

  • Over 125 young people took advantage of all Ruth Ellis Center behavioral health services last year alone, and four completed home-based therapy.
  • Community-Based Family Support Services graduated three cohorts from the LBGTQ+ Youth Health and Wellness group and one from the Trauma Education for Parents and Caregivers group.
  • Our team focuses on continuous training and skill enhancement, tapping an on-site resource library for professional development, earning Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Certifications, and pursuing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) certification, a trauma-informed evidence-based practice.
  • Thanks to our partnership with Henry Ford Health, Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Centers recently integrated EPIC electronic medical records technology to streamline service delivery.

Creative self-expression and healing through art therapy

Art therapy provides a safe haven for at-risk young people. In Wayne County, Ruth Ellis Center provides Detroit-Wayne County Integrated Health Network (DWIHN) community mental health systems’ only art therapy program with a full art studio.

Through immersive six-week sessions rooted in the Positive Youth Development model, participants explore connection, character, competence, confidence, caring, and compassion through art. Our team coaches young people in an open studio setting to unleash the power of art, nurture resilience, and illuminate brighter futures.

Thanks to this program, young people demonstrated remarkable decreases in depression and anxiety and gained the ability to better function in school, at home, and in the community. They also made unforgettable memories by visiting iconic destinations like the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Renaissance Festival, The Detroit Zoo, and the Cranbrook Museum of Art.

Six cohorts recently completed this transformative journey with funding courtesy of MDHHS.