The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 3, 2014

New mental health facility opens in Centerville

(Continued)

Overall, the goal of Oak Place is just to provide more options to patients as well as doctors and law enforcement officials.

“I can only really speak to Wapello County but we’ve had a huge increase over the last five years in commitments and in people with mental problems in the jail,” said Siegel. “Our jail population’s just been skyrocketing…a lot of that’s people in jail that probably shouldn’t be there but there’s been no alternative. Now we have an alternative.”

“Our sheriff estimated that 55 percent of our inmates currently have some type of mental health issue that’s not being met,” said Sharp.

Sharp said she hopes that Oak Place will provide a safe environment that will allow those suffering a mental health crisis time to recover without removing them from the community or from society at large.

“It takes mental health out of a criminal matter to more of a medical matter,” said Sharp.

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