CommQuest Services still open for clients
Canton Repository - 3/13/2020
CANTON CommQuest Services is still providing mental health and addiction treatment in Stark County despite the outbreak of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
CommQuest President and CEO Keith Hochadel said the not-for-profit agency was working to get clients the care they need while not raising their level of anxiety.
CommQuest has 430 employees and treats 20,000 clients annually.
The agency is keeping open:
• Outpatient counseling and psychiatry offices.
• Residential treatment centers.
• Detox units at Aultman Hospital and Aultman Alliance Community Hospital.
• Family Living Center.
•Medication-assisted treatment locations.
"To me, those are all essential services within the community," he said.
The agency is following precautions, including screening clients for signs of illness and limiting visitors at residential facilities.
"We're watching (clients) and the staff very closely and monitoring them for any signs and symptoms," Hochadel said.
Even with schools being closed for the next three weeks, CommQuest is working to make sure students can continue sessions with their school-based counselors in person or via video link.
CommQuest has closed the Friendship Center at 2200 Cleveland Avenue NW, which is a meeting place for people with serious and persistent mental health issues.
The Friendship Center will be closed through March 20 and reevaluated on a week-to-week basis.
Hochadel said there wasn't enough space to meet social distancing recommendations and CommQuest closed the Friendship Center after consulting with Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery.
However, the Payee Center in the same building will stay open to help clients manage their money.
Hochadel said in any crisis situation, people still need access to addiction and mental health services and medication.
Sometimes the situation prompts people to seek help when they haven't before.
Hochadel encouraged people who are struggling to call the Crisis Hotline at 330-452-6000 or go in person to one of CommQuest's offices.
If the issue is substance use, they should go to one of the detox units, he said.
"I think in times like these, access is going to be important," Hochadel said.
CommQuest's employees, including Hochadel, are still reporting to their offices, although the agency has limited non-essential meetings and training sessions, as well as attendance at community events.
Reach Shane at 330-580-8338 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @shooverREP
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