Notes from Our Executive Director, New Crisis and IRTS Center Moves from Vision to Reality
As many of you know, in 2016, in partnership with Scott County, Guild was awarded a planning grant from the Department of Human Services to plan for the development of a Mental Health Crisis Stabilization and Intensive Residential Treatment Services (IRTS) Center located in Scott County. This vision is becoming a reality.
The 2018 Minnesota Legislature approved partial funding for this project through state bonds. Many thanks to Mayor Janet Williams and Representative Drew Christensen, both from Savage, who worked hard to make this possible.
The need is clear. Scott County had a 96% increase in short-term crisis stabilization utilization from 2012 to 2016 and a 76% increase in need for IRTS services. Last year, Guild’s Residential Crisis and Treatment Center in South St. Paul (Maureen’s House and Guild South) were only able to accept 27% of people referred for services, due to a lack of space. In other words, 73% of people seeking crisis and IRTS services from Guild were turned away – not because they didn’t meet criteria – but because our beds were full.
Those who are turned away likely seek services elsewhere, and those lucky enough to find a bed often end up having to travel long distances. Others end up waiting for an open hospital bed, sitting in the emergency department or just going home where, often, the crisis gets worse.
The core of Guild’s mission is to provide integrated treatment and services in the community. Crisis Stabilization and IRTS are effective because individuals can work to integrate recovery into their everyday lives. Building another crisis stabilization and treatment center in Savage will provide services to residents who are in need – enabling them to find hope and healing near home with their personal support system close and accessible.
For Guild, this is an opportunity to meet a community-identified need and make a positive impact on the lives of individuals. This represents our Board’s priority to bring the services that Guild does well to more people. From a business perspective, expanding our Crisis and IRTS services represents an opportunity to create economy of scale, with no need to develop additional infrastructural support. Guild will lease the facility, owned by Scott County, and oversee the services, so there will be no capital expense.
We are looking for individuals to partner with to make this a reality, and we need your help. If you have interest in this project, please connect with George Broostin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Needs include additional financial resources to assist with ramp-up costs, individuals who can open doors to potential funders or stakeholders in the Scott County region, and individuals who are willing to tell their stories about Guild to help us provide a warm introduction to our new community.
As always, we value your interest and support. Thank you so much for being part of Guild.
Julie Bluhm, Executive Director
September 27, 2018