Mental Health and Recovery for Licking and Knox Counties Receives $3 Million

LICKING & KNOX COUNTIES — In a monumental move for mental health and addiction services in the area, the Mental Health and Recovery Board for Licking and Knox Counties (MHR) is excited to announce that it, in a strategic partnership with Behavioral Healthcare Partners of Central Ohio, Inc. (BHP), has secured $3 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to purchase land for the construction of a state-of-the-art crisis center. The funding is part of $90 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds awarded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). This crisis center promises to be a beacon of support for residents of both Licking and Knox Counties.

A Licking-Knox Counties Regional Comprehensive Crisis Stabilization Center has long been a vision of BHP and aims to offer immediate assistance to individuals in distress, ensuring that they receive timely and effective interventions. Its establishment addresses a longstanding need for dedicated mental health and addiction crisis resources in the region. 

Kay Spergel, the Executive Director of MHR, commented on the development, stating, “This funding and the vision of BHP marks a pivotal moment for our service district. For far too long, the residents of Licking and Knox Counties have had limited access to dedicated crisis support. With this development, we’re not just building a facility; we’re constructing a lifeline for our community members. It’s a testament to our commitment to prioritizing behavioral health services and ensuring that everyone has access to the care they deserve.”

Dr. Kate St. James, President and CEO of BHP, observed, “Our neighbors deserve the care they need close to home during a time of crisis, as well as a place where they can stabilize and begin healing.  They also deserve to have their loved ones close to them as they heal. The BHP Licking-Knox Counties Crisis Stabilization Center will provide cutting-edge behavioral healthcare and crisis stabilization in a safe and comforting setting that is geared toward behavioral health needs. Helping our neighbors get back to their lives quickly and in a better state of mind is our top priority.”

The exact location of the land and the expected timeline for the construction of the crisis center is yet to be determined. The Mental Health and Recovery Board and BHP are deeply grateful for the support and trust of the community and remain dedicated to enhancing the quality and reach of behavioral health services for all residents.

“Because of these investments, more Ohioans and their families will have a better response to their behavioral health crisis needs than ever before,” said OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss. “With these projects, Ohio is taking a leap forward to reverse decades of neglect for Ohio’s behavioral health crisis care system, ultimately creating a more hopeful future for people experiencing a behavioral health crisis.” 

Strengthening crisis services at the community level is an ongoing priority for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Criss’ agency. Learn more about the State of Ohio’s crisis work HERE.

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