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Mental Health Platform ARC Health Acquires Forward Counseling & Consulting Inc.

Outpatient mental health provider ARC Health has acquired Cumming, Georgia-based Focus Forward Counseling & Consulting Inc.

The terms of the deal were not announced. Focus Forward Counseling operates two locations in the Atlanta area and offers pediatric counseling, LGBTQIA counseling, individual therapy, couples counseling, and marriage and family resources.

Chicago-based private equity firm Thurston Group invested in Beechwood-based Advanced Recovery Concepts as a platform company and changed its name in August 2021 to ARC Health.

Since then, ARC Health has acquired five outpatient mental health companies, including Focus Forward Counseling. It is also the second deal ARC Health announced this month. On October 18, it announced the acquisition of The Ross Center.

“I was immediately attracted to ARC’s history of successful partnerships, allowing practices to maintain their great workplace cultures while offering industry knowledge, experience, and back-end support to meet the challenges of a complex, changing healthcare landscape,” Brad Hieger, founder of Focus Forward Counseling, said in a news release.

Focus Forward Counseling employs 27 psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists that offer services in English, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi, Danish, Hebrew, Russian and Spanish.

Following the deal, ARC Health employs more than 300 mental health practitioners in Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington D.C. and Georgia.

ARC Health maintains the local identity of the companies it acquires and makes practice leaders equity-owning partners in ARC.

The outpatient mental health space is highly capitalized and could see acquisition multiples come down off of historic highs as the U.S. economy ventures into shaky territory. Even as PE-backed providers eye tightening their belts, M&A will like to be strong if not more strategic as several players seek to consolidate a very fragmented segment, according to CEOs at Behavioral Health Business’ INVEST event.

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