Why are mental health and addiction relief services closed?

After decades of providing mental health and addiction services, Rescue is at risk of having to close its doors, after it became known that funding could be withdrawn.

TOLEDO, Ohio – For the past 50 years, Rescue Mental Health and Addiction Services, on Collingwood Blvd. has been there to serve the community.

The facility and the services it provides are now in jeopardy, however, after the Lucas County Mental Health Recovery Services Board announced it would no longer provide funding to the organization.

Now employees and community members are pushing to keep the doors open, saying the services Rescue offers are essential to the great community of Toledo.

“We are filling the gaps, and we always have been. We get calls around the clock from people in need of help,” said Betsey Kastner, Social Worker at Rescue and Executive Delegate of the Service. Employees International Union.

The organization says it has received notice from the Mental Health Recovery Services Board that its funding for essential services could be withdrawn as early as June 30.

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“While we can charge, some of the services we provide are for community members who have absolutely no insurance, so they don’t have the capacity to pay.” Kastner said. “The Mental Health Recovery Services Board has always provided the funding so that we can meet their needs.”

Crisis services will continue to be offered after June 30, according to a statement from the Mental Health Recovery Services Board.

The statement goes on to say, “We intend that current Rescue employees be an integral part of future plans. Actions are already underway and plans will be announced to the community as they are finalized.”

Relief workers, however, say their mission has always been to help and that can’t happen if their doors are closed.

“The services we provide are important. The people who work here are important. The customers we serve are important. The community we seek to serve is important and we are all working together to try to ensure that it helps those in need. that, ”said Hunter Turner, mental health technician at Rescue.

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The Mental Health Recovery Services Board said it offered Rescue several extensions and negotiations and none were accepted. They also say talks about a 90-day extension are still on the table.

The full board statement is below:

“Rest assured that crisis services will continue to be available after June 30, 2021, which will meet the needs of our community. We intend that current Rescue employees be an integral part of future plans. Actions are already underway and plans will be announced to the community as they are finalized.

Council is aware of the protest scheduled for Saturday morning regarding crisis care services in Lucas County. We join Rescue staff in their extreme disappointment at Rescue’s recent announcement of its impending closure.

The Council did everything in its power to avoid the situation that exists today.

On several occasions, Rescue has been offered a six-month contract extension to ensure that our current crisis care system continues to function while the good faith negotiations and the lawsuit they have filed continued.

Rescue chose to shut down instead.

Rescue was also offered a three-month contract extension to facilitate a smooth transition of services to another provider.

Rescue chose to shut down instead.

Rescue had the opportunity to meet with the Council and a mediator to resolve this situation.

Rescue chose to shut down instead.

The board believes that there are questions that should be directed to the management of Rescue:

  • What motivates these destructive actions?
  • What severance benefits will the Rescue management team receive when Rescue closes?
  • Why did Rescue employees first learn from The Blade that Rescue was shutting down instead of hearing directly from Rescue management?
  • Why are Rescue management refusing board extension offers?
  • Why isn’t Rescue’s board of directors speaking out on behalf of their employees and the customers they serve?

The board remains open to discussions with Rescue regarding a 90-day extension.

Rescue’s actions contrast with the actions of the Board of Directors, which have been to facilitate a thoughtful, deliberative and collaborative approach to developing a world-class crisis care system in Lucas County. It included all the key stakeholders in the community, including Rescue.

The system developed from this process was detailed in a report published in December 2019. The call for tenders was published in November 2020. Rescue responded to the call for tenders in January 2021, but Rescue filed a claim. legal action against the board and the court ordered us to stop the process.

Instead of working with the board, in line with the recommendations and the future vision of the CPES committee, Rescue announced its closure with one month’s notice. The closure hurts both Rescue employees and the community. The Board of Directors believes that our emergency care system is a vital part of our community. Every action we have taken has reflected this conviction. The same can’t be said for Rescue’s leadership. “

About Rhonda Lee

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