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Mental health treatment facility opens near George Floyd Square

Mental health treatment facility opens near George Floyd Square

People Incorporated’s hybrid model aims to make it a smoother transition from one mental health treatment to the next.

MINNEAPOLIS — The largest community-based nonprofit mental health provider in the state is expanding, just down the street from George Floyd Square. 

Tuesday, People Incorporated held a ribbon cutting for its new location at 3633 Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis. 

The facility will be used for its hybrid crisis and intensive residential treatment services (IRTS) program. 

People Incorporated’s hybrid model aims to make it a smoother transition from one mental health treatment to the next by doing it all under the same roof. 

Clients can receive short-term crisis stabilization services, then stay for long-term intensive residential treatment services.

“Allowing clients to transition from crisis to IRTS without having to pack up and move to another location temporarily or permanently… that also helped to reduce the anxiety of needing to tell your story another time, of needing to perhaps wait for that placement. Also, just the anxiety that comes with, ‘I know this environment; I know my care team; I’m comfortable and safe here,” explained Jill Wiedemann-West, CEO of People Incorporated. 

The location was previously a healthcare crisis facility operated by Hennepin Healthcare before People Incorporated purchased the building earlier in the year. 

“The hybrid model is fairly unique in that I’m not aware of any other facility that has every single bed dually-licensed to provide both crisis care and our residential treatment care. People Inc. is the about the only one I know who does it that way and this will be our fourth facility who provides it,” said Gabe Becker-Finn, People Incorporated director of operations. 

The facility includes 13 private bedrooms and bathrooms. Two of the rooms — one on each floor — are meant for those with mobility concerns. 

“Unfortunately as we all have heard, read, and seen, the number of Minnesotans experiencing mental health issues has been increasing in recent years. It’s estimated that 26% of adults and 40% of adolescents have experienced a mental health issue in the past 12 months,” said Jodi Harpstead, Minnesota Department of Human Services commissioner. “This while many have run into barriers trying to access care. As we’ve come out of the pandemic, we’ve also seen a decrease in availability of care.”

People Incorporated said when looking at the location, they went door-to-door meeting members of the community. They plan to do more outreach in the neighborhood. 

Becker-Finn said it is his goal to be able to do intake for members of the community at the location. Through screening, they would then make sure the services they provide fit that person’s needs or else connect them to the appropriate services. 

Commissioner Harpstead addressed the crowd at Tuesday’s ribbon cutting, acknowledging the location and saying, “We can’t ignore the fact that many community members are silently struggling with mental health challenges often compounded by the trauma and stress associated with the events that unfolded at George Floyd Square. The COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd shined a much needed light on racial and ethnic disparities and access to behavioral health care. We know that Black, Hispanic and American Indian communities have substantially lower access to mental health and substance use treatment services than other populations. They’re also more likely to end treatment prematurely because they experience less culturally-responsible care. Let me be clear, racism — not race — is a critical risk factor for mental health concerns and poorer outcomes.”

The first nine clients are expected to arrive on Oct. 18. 

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