A groundbreaking ceremony for the crisis recovery center will be at noon Friday, October 23. The center, 1000 W. Second St., will be located on the Treatment and Recovery Campus of Douglas County and will serve adults and children with serious mental illness, substance use disorders and addiction issues.
The groundbreaking ceremony will include brief remarks by Douglas County Commissioner Nancy Thellman, LMH Health President and CEO Russ Johnson, and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center CEO Patrick Schmitz. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the local public health order’s limit on gatherings, the invitation-only event will be live-streamed through LMH Health’s Facebook page at facebook.com/lmhorg.
The approximately 20,000-square-foot center will provide behavioral health crisis services performed by a patient-focused, multi-disciplinary team. Staff will include: mental health professionals, peer support specialists, behavioral health technicians, licensed addiction staff, case managers and psychiatric professionals. The crisis recovery center will have an access center, 23-hour observation unit, and crisis stabilization unit.
“Bert Nash Center is very honored and excited to be part of this project,” Schmitz said. “We’re proud to collaborate with our wonderful community partners; we all have our unique missions, yet we all share the common goal of bettering the lives of our fellow citizens. We are pleased to be part of this ongoing work to help get the right services at the right time to those who need it the most.”
Commissioner Thellman said, “When folks are in crisis they need a place to go where there’s no wrong door, where well-trained behavioral health experts are ready to help, and where the surroundings are safe and comfortable. I’m really pleased that we’ll finally have that kind of round-the-clock crisis care here in Douglas County and am grateful to all the members of the team who worked so hard to make it happen.”
Behavioral Health Partners, Inc., a nonprofit partnership between LMH Health and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, will provide leadership, clinical oversight and operational management of the crisis recovery center. Behavioral Health Partners, Inc. will be governed by a nine-member Board of Directors. LMH Health, Bert Nash and the Board of Douglas County Commissioners will each appoint three members to the board. The Board will include subject matter and lived experience experts, including at least one member with direct lived experience with mental illness, substance abuse or addiction.
Johnson, of LMH Health, said: “Our focus on care for every individual has us prioritizing our work in behavioral health, health equity and education, but we can’t do it alone. Partnerships like this help us address social determinants of health and find new, innovative ways to address the health needs of our community.”
The estimated cost of the project is $10.4 million and it will be funded through a variety of resources including the quarter-cent sales tax that was approved by voters in November 2018 to improve behavioral health services and facilities in Douglas County.
Treanor HL is the architect for the building and MarLan Construction is providing construction management services. Construction is expected to be completed by December 2021.
“Getting to groundbreaking day for this crisis recovery center is such a significant mark in time. This facility has been years in the planning and will soon be a major part of our community’s expanding system of care,” Thellman said.
Douglas County's Director of Behavioral Health Projects Bob Tryanski said the Behavioral Health Leadership Coalition partners have been instrumental in planning efforts for the center. These agencies include: LMH Health, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, DCCCA, Heartland Community Health Center, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center (RADAC), and Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority. "We greatly appreciate their leadership and commitment to improving mental health services in Douglas County."