Mental Health Rehab Center
Amanda Baker was a fervid mental health advocate who testified for Senate Bill 43, which gave judges the ability to order outpatient treatment for people with mental illnesses. This cause hit close to home for her and her family. She struggled with depression and lost her life to suicide at age 26 when she walked in front of a semi-tractor just days after leaving the hospital.
In both cases, the loving and supportive families of these young people tried desperately to get them help. Unfortunately, the mental health system failed them.
Hospital stays are often too short to properly stabilize people and prepare them for life outside a secure hospital environment. With many other major hospitalizations, patients are sent to a rehabilitation facility after discharge to recuperate and rebuild strength. This isn’t the case with mental illness. Patients are often sent home alone, dropped at a homeless shelter or released to a family member ill-equipped to offer the needed rehabilitation services.
As the deaths of Adam and Amanda illustrate, the consequences of inadequate treatment can be tragic. Many people discharged end up back in the hospital, in prison, homeless, or dead due to the lack of community supports. The suicide rate in adults with mental disorders within the first ninety days after discharge is over fourteen times higher than the average rate of suicide in the United States.
The fact of the matter is that there simply are not enough mental health resources available upon discharge to care for this vulnerable group.
The deaths of these two people are tragic, but we can help prevent future tragedies by working to change the mental health system little by little.
In honor of these two individuals who lost their battles with mental illness, NAMI Ohio is excited to share a new approach to this crisis. The Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center in Athens, Ohio will be a pilot facility and the first of its kind. It provides a place for people with severe mental illness to go after release from the hospital and stabilize under supervised care before re-entering the community.
Although operating funds have been secured by the Athens-Hocking-Vinton Mental Health Board and the Ohio Department of Mental Health, capital funds are needed to build the facility. It is our hope the Adam and Amanda Rehabilitation Center will become the Ohio and national model for transition from psychiatric rehabilitation to home.
Please donate to this cause to help save lives.
Yesterday, Terry Russell the Executive Director of NAMI Ohio spoke with Kevin Landers of 10TV regarding the center. Also included in the interview were NAMI Ohio Board members and parents of individuals diagnosed with mental illness. In the video, you can see the future location of the center and the current facility, which will be remodeled.
In a separate recorded interview with 10TV, Marcia Knapp, Adam's mother, talks about her son and their experience with the mental healthcare system.
Watch both videos here:
Mental illness is a growing crisis in Ohio and across the nation. It’s the number one cause of disability worldwide. The suicide rate is the highest it has been in 30 years and studies show this rate is highest immediately after a person is discharged from a psychiatric hospital.
It’s because of this sad reality, and the tragic stories of the people we serve, that we decided something had to be done to change the mental health system. The Adam-Amanda Center will provide much-needed psychiatric rehabilitation services in southeast Ohio. It is our goal to expand this model across the state and build a mental health rehabilitation center in every area with a state psychiatric hospital.
Please help us make this dream a reality. If you haven’t donated to this project, please consider making a contribution in any amount. If you’ve already donated, please share this campaign with friends and family. Together, we can save lives.
This cause is so important to those in our organization and to those affected by mental illness and their families. Approximately 1 out of 5 Ohioans is living with a mental illness. This could be your neighbor, your sibling, your child, or your friend.
We NEED strong community supports to make sure those experiencing mental illness have the best possible chance at recovery. With the Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center, we are changing the way mental health care is provided in our state by offering a new community support program that is so desperately needed.
Please continue to share this campaign with your friends and family. We have a long way to go toward achieving our goal, but with your support, we can get there!