Mental health center will fill void

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Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center

ATHENS, Ohio — The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio, in collaboration with state and county officials and private supporters, recently dedicated the Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center in Athens.

The $1.25-million, 16-bed facility at 7990 Dairy Lane near the Ohio University campus was created for patients discharged from the nearby Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare hospital who require longer-term residential treatment of 60 days or more.

The facility will be operated by Hopewell Health Center in cooperation with the Athens-Hocking-Vinton 317 Board and NAMI Ohio.

Speaking at the Aug. 25 dedication were Dan and Marsha Knapp, parents of Adam Knapp, and Becky Baker, mother of Amanda Baker.

Adam and Amanda, for whom the center is named, lost their lives due to mental illness only days after being released from inpatient psychiatric facilities and after multiple attempts to receive longer-term care.

“The center will bring hope to those have very little hope left,” Dan Knapp said.

Becky Baker said she hopes the new center will help achieve her daughter’s dream to “change the world one act of kindness at a time.”

Partnership

Dr. Mark Hurst, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, stressed the center is the result of the collaboration between state and local agencies, families and individuals.

It is going to “help us have fewer Adam and Amanda’s. When we get to zero we’ll know we’ve done something,” Hurst said.

Terry Russell, NAMI Ohio executive director, came up with the idea for the rehabilitation center just three years ago. He spearheaded the drive to raise $1.25 million, including money from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office and his personal family foundation, the Stow (Ohio) High School Class of 1998, Adam’s graduating class, and many others.

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