The ribbon was cut in front of St. Francis Way Clinic, a new behavioral health and substance use treatment center in Litchfield on Wednesday morning, Sept. 15, in effort to address the ongoing needs in the community.
The 2,600-square-foot center on the campus of St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield is across from the emergency department and open to those ages 18 and older. Behavioral care providers on staff will oversee programs and services, which include medication assisted treatments, individual and group therapy, case management support and more.
It is funded by a three-year $1 million grant from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy through the Macoupin County Public Health Department (MCPHD) to develop “recovery-oriented system of care” in both Macoupin and Montgomery counties. The initiative aims to increase service access points for patients and improve coordination with providers, emergency departments, first responders and community partners.
Some of those community partners present Wednesday morning were St. Francis president and CEO Jim Timpe, Pastor Jon Magnuson of the Litchfield Ministerial Alliance, Litchfield Police Chief Kenny Ryker, and Dr. Carissa van den Berk-Clark of Saint Louis University.
“St. Francis Way Clinic is designed to help patients break down barriers that are keeping them from engaging in treatment and recovery services,” MCPHD CEO Kent Tarro said. “The treatment team will work to build individualized care plans for each patient with the end goal being recovery.”
On-site treatment is available for substance use disorders, depression and anxiety, PTSD, OCD/ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
According to Dr. van den Berk-Clark, one in ten who drink have an alcohol problem, one in five who use illicit drugs have an addiction, and 75 percent of those with substance disorders do not get any treatment.
Pastor Magnuson called the problem an “epidemic of addiction,” and described the need for hope, resources, and people.
“We are proud of the programs we have already put in place, such as Safe Passage with Litchfield and Gillespie Police Departments,” Chief Ryker said. “The addition of St. Francis Way Clinic provides an opportunity to meet every patient where they are on their path of recovery.” Safe Passage allows those using drugs or alcohol to present themselves to a police department and let them know they are ready to lead a healthier lifestyle, then be connected to a recovery program.
“Adding the availability of more behavioral and substance use care programs so close to our facility benefits patients who may otherwise present at an emergency department that may not have a full spectrum of mental health resources available,” Timpe said. “It is a collective effort of many to address the very urgent mental health crisis in our region.”
Fees for services are based on a sliding scale, and many services are Medicare or Medicaid eligible. The facility will not turn anyone away based on the ability to pay, Tarro said.
St. Francis Way (217-250-2380) is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and planning to hire 24-hour support.