New mental health facility opens in New Richmond to serve IndianheadRegional News
-- Northwest Transitions has opened a new residential facility in New Richmond to aid adults dealing with mental health challenges.
By: Jeff Holmquist - New Richmond News, Pierce County Herald
NEW RICHMOND - Northwest Transitions has opened a new residential facility in New Richmond to aid adults dealing with mental health challenges.
The four-bed adult family home is located at 847 Highview Drive. Northwest Passage, the parent organization for the facility, received its state license to operate locally on Jan. 2. The first clients moved into the home on Jan. 3, according to Mark Elliott, executive director of Northwest Passages.
Northwest Passages, which has provided mental health services to young people across northernwestern Wisconsin for years, is headed in a new direction with the adult facility, Elliott said.
“We’ll see how it goes,” he said.
The company is working in partnership with St. Croix County to help area residents with mental health needs.
“The goal is to help them manage their mental health and be functional,” Elliott explained, noting that taxpayers often end up paying a lot of money when people don’t get the help they need.
Residents in the home, both males and females, will be supervised 24 hours a day. A staff of eight will provide the around-the-clock care. During their stay at Northwest Transitions, residents will meet with therapists and doctors to determine any treatment or medication needs.
Elliott said residents will stay at the New Richmond facility for as little as a couple days or as long as several months, depending on their needs.
“It really depends on the individual,” he said.
The individuals staying in the program are typically people who have lived in the area and are in need of high level of services for a variety of reasons, Elliott said. The residents may be dealing with severe depression, drug and alcohol abuse or anxiety issues.
“They are people who just need some extra support,” he said. “They are having struggles in their life, in one way or another.”
The program will provide a home environment that helps foster balance in the resident’s life, Elliott said.
A treatment plan will be set up for each individual to help stabilize them and ultimately work toward their integration back into the community. Examples of the services offered at the home include activities of daily living, medication management, laundry, meals, transportation, recreational events and individual therapeutic support, Elliott said.
Northwest’s staff will provide mentorship and spend time connecting with the clients helping them make positive gains in socialization, recreation, health, vocation and overall quality of life, he explained.
“The staff will encourage independence and empowerment giving each person positive choices throughout their stay,” Elliott said. “The hope is to provide a home-like crisis stabilization or longer-term option within the community that promotes skill building, independence and a consumer-centered focus.”
Aaron Long, the program coordinator, has worked with Northwest for almost 10 years and said he looks forward to working with the New Richmond community in making this program a success.
Northwest Passage was founded in 1978 with programming centered on blending mental health treatment with teaching personal responsibility to troubled adolescents as a means of helping them find ways past life’s struggles. They operate facilities in Hayward, Webster, Frederic and Spponer. The organization’s mission will carry over to the new adult program in New Richmond, Elliott said.
Northwest Passage purchased a four-plex in New Richmond later in 2011 to make the new facility possible. A number of people were given eviction notices and given five weeks to find new housing.
Terrie Miller was among those displaced by the sale of the residential structure. At the time of their move, she said things moved too quickly and tenants felt pressure to find an affordable housing alternative.
Miller, along with her husband Lyle, had lived in the four-plex for about a year and a half. The couple loved the location because their grandchildren live nearby.
“It’s disheartening,” she said. “We were just settling in. This wasn’t good news.”
The situation was just one of a string of challenging moments in the Millers’ lives. In 2010, they were forced from their longtime home in Illinois due to mounting medical bills and poor financial planning, Terri Miller said.
Late in 2011, the Millers were being forced to move again.
“Adulthood has been a real eye opener,” she said at the time notices were issued. “It is not the adulthood we were led to expect.”