SPRINGFIELD, OH (JULY 12, 2023) ─ The Board of Clark County Commissioners is allocating $3.6 million to McKinley Hall to lead the community’s effort to establish a mental health urgent care and transitional facility.
The facility, which will be located at the former Heart House location on East High Street, will provide 24-hour care for individuals who need services for both mental health and substance use withdrawal. It will include six crisis stabilization beds ─ three for withdrawal management and three for mental health crises ─ as well as 10 total recovery housing beds. It will also work collaboratively with existing local resources. The facility will offer separate facilities for both men and women.
“There is a significant gap in services available for Clark County residents with mental health and substance use disorders, particularly when it comes to accessing resources round the clock,” said McKinley Hall Chief Executive Officer Wendy Doolittle. “Many individuals who experience overdoses may not choose to go to the hospital but could benefit from being transported to a facility specifically designed to initiate the withdrawal management process. Additionally, there is an issue when residents no longer meet the criteria for psychiatric hospitalization but still require a supportive environment before returning home. To address these challenges, this new program will provide a space with 24-hour oversite and assistance to address this issue.”
The facility is also expected to alleviate the strain on organizations that are not designed to cater to this population, such as emergency rooms and the jail, Doolittle said. It will also provide family members in both Clark County and neighboring counties a reliable means to refer loved ones who require crisis stabilization.
“This idea emerged from discussions surrounding projects that could be funded through the OneOhio Foundation’s opioid settlement funds,” said Clark County Commissioner Melanie Flax Wilt. “This investment demonstrates how serious we are about eradicating drug abuse in our community. Addiction is not only costly for families, but for law enforcement, the justice system, social services and taxpayers, and we’re committed to meeting those struggling at the time when they’re ready to receive help.”
Mercy Health is selling the former Heart House on High Street for a reduced price of $250,000 as part of their community philanthropy initiative and will help further their work with cardiothoracic services elsewhere in the community. Clark County is using American Rescue Plan Act dollars to fund the project.
Members of the Clark County OneOhio Committee include Flax Wilt, Doolittle, Mercy Health CEO Adam Groshans, Mental Health and Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Madison Counties CEO Dr. Greta Mayer, Springfield City Manager Bryan Heck, Springfield Fire Rescue Division Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Smith, Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett (Ben Hunt), New Carlisle City Manager Randy Bridge, Bethel Twp. Trustee Nancy Brown, Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Beau Thompson and Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.
“We express our gratitude for the County Commissioner's dedicated endeavors in tackling the mental health and substance use disorder crises affecting our community,” Doolittle said. “Any measures taken to prevent or intervene when someone is on the verge of losing control will undoubtedly bring immense benefits to the individual, our community and the systems supporting it.”
The facility is expected to begin renovations later this year.
Media contact: Michael Cooper, Public Information Officer, 937-521-2031