Frisbie opening interim mental health center in Rochester
Foster's Daily Democrat - 8/22/2017
Aug. 22--ROCHESTER -- As Frisbie Memorial Hospital continues its efforts to create a new mental health center in downtown Rochester, the hospital will open an interim facility on Rochester Hill Road starting Oct. 1.
Hospital President and CEO John Marzinzik said counseling will be conducted at the medical office at 60 Rochester Hill Road on an interim basis until renovations are completed to the center's permanent location at in old Hair Excitement building at 39 South Main St.
The mental health center is thanks to a partnership between the hospital and local nonprofit Community Partners. The center is designed to help locals with undiagnosed mental health disorders due to the area's limited services, as well as to complement the nearby Rochester Community Recovery Center (RCRC) because individuals with substance misuse disorders often have a dual diagnosis involving mental health issues.
"We're not going to back off -- we will continue to push the fight," said Marzinzik. "We're not going to give up. I know we can beat this."
Overall, New Hampshire is one of the healthiest states in the country, yet among the worst in funding for and access to mental health services, according to Strafford County Public Health Advisory Council Network.
Frisbie opened RCRC in the downtown last October to help address the dearth of accessible substance abuse services. The mental health center is the next step in that mission.
Marzinzik announced the interim mental health center Tuesday morning while also unveiling the new peer-to-peer intensive outpatient recovery program that has begun at RCRC.
To start, there will be three or four licensed mental health counselors available five days a week at the interim mental health facility, he said.
The hope is the center's permanent home on South Main Street, which will be located on the COAST bus line and a short walk from key municipal buildings and city services, will eventually be open a couple of nights a week and on Saturdays to serve veterans and homeless individuals seeking service free of charge.
Frisbie had hoped to begin substantial renovations to the building by July or early August, but the hospital is still raising funds for the work. Marzinzik has said the building will require $250,000 to $270,000 of renovations to create five confidential counseling and treatment rooms.
The facility is anticipated to lose $45,000 or more annually. The Foundation for Healthy Communities has pledged roughly $50,000 to offset that loss and the hospital will cover the rest, according to Marzinzik, to ensure the community has better access to vital services.
"This is not about generating revenue," said Marzinzik. "It's about helping our community improve mental health."
(c)2017 the Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.)
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