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Just steps from George Floyd Square, a mental health treatment center will open

Amid a statewide mental health crisis, a major nonprofit is providing some relief, with plans to open a 13-bed home near George Floyd Square in Minneapolis that will treat people recovering from mental health emergencies.

People Incorporated, the state’s largest nonprofit mental health service provider, said the home, located at 3633 Chicago Ave., will open this fall and provide 24-hour monitoring and care. people who have suffered a mental crisis and need more therapy and other support before returning home. Patients suffering from a variety of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, will have access to a team of nurses, therapists and social workers for up to three months .

The St. Paul-based nonprofit buys the Victorian-style house from Hennepin Healthcare, which has operated a short-term mental health crisis center on the site since 2017, although care is mainly limited to those who needed a place to stay for a short time. periods (three to 10 days) after acute hospital stays.

The newly opened center, located one block from George Floyd Square, is expected to relieve pressure on emergency departments at Twin Cities area hospitals that are overwhelmed with patients suffering from mental health crises. The home is also part of a broader effort by mental health providers to help patients make the difficult transition back to work and community after discharge from hospitals and acute psychiatric wards.

The days following hospitalization are particularly high-risk periods for anxiety, depression and suicide, health researchers have found. Many psychiatric patients go off their medication, suffer another mental health crisis, and end up in hospital again. A person with a severe mental disorder can repeat this cycle dozens of times in a single year.

In this way, mental health treatment differs from many other forms of medical care, in which patients undergoing procedures, such as hip replacement or heart surgery, are often sent to rehabilitation centers before to return home.

“You don’t want to dump people into nothing [after a hospital stay]and facilities like this are a very important part of the mental health system,” said Sue Abderholden, executive director of the Minnesota National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). “It gives people a place to heal when they’re not completely ready. go home.”

Statewide, there are nearly 70 similar facilities offering 24-hour supervision and intensive mental health treatment for limited periods, typically 30 to 90 days. Patients seeking care at these facilities, which range from 10 to 16 beds, generally need a higher level of care than outpatient therapy – and often leave hospitals or county jails. The facilities, known as Intensive Residential Treatment Services or IRTS programs, are designed to ease a person’s transition into daily life.

The south Minneapolis home will be unusual in that it will provide a mix of short-term crisis stabilization and longer-term treatment services. The hybrid model of care allows people stabilized after a mental health crisis to be transferred directly to treatment in the same facility. This way, patients can receive uninterrupted care for several months without having to travel or find a new treatment provider on their own, officials said.

Jill Wiedemann-West, chief executive of People Incorporated, said patients who stay longer for intensive treatment can learn skills that will help them manage their distress and avoid future crises.

“Now, as soon as this crisis has stabilized, [patients] can literally walk across the hall to another room and begin their treatment experience,” Wiedemann-West said. , it’s hard to get excited about starting something new.”

People Incorporated already offers this mix of crisis and intensive treatment at facilities in St. Paul, Chaska and elsewhere in Minneapolis.

Jennifer DeCubellis, chief executive of Hennepin Healthcare, said the public hospital system put the south Minneapolis home up for sale a year ago on the condition that the property continue to operate as a mental health treatment center. . People Incorporated was chosen in part because of its ability to provide a broader range of comprehensive patient services, she said. The house has been vacant since last July largely due to a lack of staff.

“It’s a better continuing care ecosystem,” DeCubellis said. “Our teams launched it, they built it, and they absolutely demonstrated the need in the community. Now People Incorporated is going to take it to the next level.”

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