Living Room to offer safe, comfortable environment for those in mental health crisis

Posted: Oct. 4, 2020 12:01 am QUINCY — The Living Room, a new mental health…

Posted: Oct. 4, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY — The Living Room, a new mental health service at Horizons Social Services, 224 S. Eighth, will open its doors on Monday.

The program, which is operated by Transitions of Western Illinois, aims to provide a safe and comfortable environment for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The service is made possible through grant funding from the state.

Barb Baker Chapin, director of development for Transitions of Western Illinois, said research has shown that a non-emergency room setting can be more effective for treating a mental health crisis. Programs like the Living Room also can ease the strain mental health cases may have on area hospitals, she added.

“What we believe is by offering this setting, we can relieve the burden on the emergency rooms,” Baker Chapin said. “Many people having a mental health crisis don’t need the intensive mental health services an emergency room is best equipped to provide.”

The Living Room is a relatively new concept and only a few other mental health service providers in the state are offering such a program, she added.

Chapin said Transitions has been very cautious through the COVID-19 pandemic and will have precautions in place when the Living Room opens. Anyone entering the building will be asked if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 and may have their temperature taken. Chapin said clients are expected to wear masks and there is plenty of space in the building to practice social distancing.

Funding for the project came from the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health.

The Living Room will be open Monday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m.