The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 3, 2014

New mental health facility opens in Centerville

On April 1 a new five bed facility for mentally ill people in crisis opened in Centerville. Known as Oak Place, the facility hopes to serve a critical need in the community by providing an option besides hospitalization or jail for those suffering from mental illness in the community.

Appanoose County is part of the South Central Behavioral Health Region, along with Davis and Wapello counties. In October of 2013 the region began looking at ways to provide more treatment and care options for citizens with mental health issues and those in crisis.

“For those individuals that are in mental health crisis but not needing hospitalization…it helps keep patients home in their own community,” said Jackie Sharp executive director of Centerville Community Betterment.

The facility is open to anyone over the age of 18 with a mental health or dual diagnosis. Someone with a dual diagnosis may have both a mental illness diagnosis and an addiction, but the primary diagnosis is mental. The facility will be managed by Regina Lassabe with Centerville Community Betterment who has been contracted to run Oak Place.

The facility is known as a stabilization home and will be used as a diversion service to mental health inpatient hospitalization. According to Diane Buss, the Appanoose and Davis County central point coordinator for Mental Health Services, mental health patients who are in crisis because of psych-social issues can voluntarily enter Oak Place for a short term stay of up to five business days. While there, they will have a safe place to stay, medication management and connections to county relief funds for tangible help with rent, utilities, transpiration, food and other needs as identified.

“Our job is to help them overcome issues that they haven’t been able to do themselves,” said Sharp. “It might be getting in to see a psychiatrist. We have an agreement with our mental health center for next day service. It might be paying for medication. It might be rent assistance. They might be on the verge of being homeless.”

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