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By James Neal/Statesville Records & Landmark
Posted: Aug 30, 2017

Partners Behavioral recently announced the opening of its all-in-one mental health facility at 518 Signal Hill Drive Extension.

The facility, set to open fully in the fall, provides patients with mental health issues, substance abuse and intellectual developmental disabilities the ability to receive the same-day help for physical and mental conditions.

The full-body approach creates a single facility where patients dealing with physical ailments have easy access to the resources needed for mental well-being, said Paul Caldwell, chief community operations officer for Partners Behavioral.

While attending a regular doctor’s office, patients will receive feedback on mental health assessments. A next-door crisis recovery center, run by Daymark Recovery Services, provides a 19-bed facility for 23-hour observation and longer-term care.

County and city leaders and health professionals gathered Wednesday for the facility’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. Here's a sampling of what they had to say:

» Paul Caldwell, chief community operations officer for Partners Behavioral: “Partners is the agency that has brought together four companies to work together and work collaboratively and provide services under the name, Impact Health of Iredell. I want to say thank you to the four companies -- Daymark, Turning Point Family Services, PQA and Children’s Hope Alliance —- that took this leap of faith with us.”

» James Mallory, Iredell County Board of Commissioners chairman: “Seventy to eighty percent of inmates in our jail have an underlying condition -— either substance abuse or mental health -— and it costs $70 per day to house them. The jail isn’t designed as a treatment program. It’s designed to correct the behavior of people who make choices to follow or break the law. People addicted follow compulsions, not rational choices. This facility can be a part of the solution, by providing prevention and equipping people to deal with the underlying problem.”

» Rhett Melton, Partners Behavioral CEO: “We still have a stigma that we have to battle every day, about the condition of mental illness. It’s good to have this opportunity, not only to deal with mental illness, or the substance abuse disorder or intellectual development, but to treat it as another illness. It’s just like heart disease, just like cancer. It’s just as serious and it deserves the same amount of attention. The whole concept around this program is to integrate the need for those illnesses, with the care for other illnesses we all deal with every day. It’s mainstreaming it.”

» Ron Smith, Iredell County manager: “As manager, I get a lot of requests for money, and this one was a very good idea. Partners have always been a great partner with Iredell County. I knew that what they were proposing had merit. [After his visit], Attorney General Josh Stein came out very impressed -- that’s what I took away -- he was very impressed that we’re so far ahead of our peers in North Carolina, with how we’re dealing with the opioid epidemic.”

» Jane Hinson, Iredell County Public Health director: “I understand and completely agree that we have to treat the whole person. My goal today is to challenge all the providers, because what we know is that if you don’t establish a relationship of trust, if you don’t listen to your clients or provide them an opportunity to explain … please step back and understand these are human beings that deserve to be treated with compassion and dignity, and I thank you for doing that.”

» Duane Gaskins, the new facility’s director: “This is just the beginning. Our journey is to continue to provide more and more services to develop that whole person integrated care, so that when somebody comes here, they have same-day access and engagement. We meet them at the door and we assess what’s going on. We may start with the physical, we may start with mental health. We can provide both of those. As we expand, we can continue to develop resources for these people to connect, to move them into what will help them and make their life better.”

Article Reference: Impact Health of Iredell Facility Promises to Treat Body and Mind