Lutheran’s Maple Heights Behavioral Health facility to offer new option for psychiatric care

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The numbers are astounding: one in five adults experience mental…

Lutheran’s Maple Heights Behavioral Health facility to offer new option for psychiatric care

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The numbers are astounding: one in five adults experience mental illness every year.

For one in 20, it’s serious mental illness every year.

And one in six kids, ages 6 to 17, experience a mental health disorder every year.

Many people are one personal catastrophe away from needing mental health treatment, said Jennifer Snyder, CEO of Maple Heights Behavioral Health. Maple Heights is a brand new facility that will offer help for those in need.

To help address the growing mental health needs in Allen County and the surrounding area, Lutheran Medical Group and national health partner Acadia Healthcare collaborated on the project that will offer in-patient mental healthcare for adults and seniors for a range of behavioral health concerns, including anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder, according to a release sent after Wednesday’s open house and tour of the facility on West Washington Center Road.

The 120-bed, $45 million facility will treat individuals in crisis with in-patient and out-patient care. It’s a replacement for mental health services offered at the now demolished St. Joe hospital.

Still under construction, the 6-unit, 90,000 square foot mental health hospital will accept its first patients early in 2023, according to Lutheran officials. Patients will range from children to geriatric.

“They had St. Joe’s downtown, Lutheran Health Network, and then we were able to make this happen, to have a joint venture partnership where we could open up Maple Heights and have a free-standing psychiatric hospital that could serve more people and have individualized care,” Snyder said.

Officials from Lutheran and Acadia, a national corporation traded on Nasdaq, spoke to a standing room only crowd in the center’s gymnasium and held a ribbon-tying ceremony to celebrate the partnership. Officers from Community Health Services, corporate owner of Lutheran, were also in attendance.

“It’s very exciting to think that we’ll have extra services that are so needed in this state for adolescents, adults, senior citizens. Eventually, once we get everything up and going, all the services will be available here,” Snyder said.

When the facility is finished, there will be courtyards for every unit, a gymnasium, and indoor activity rooms for quiet and noisy activities. The center will offer art therapy, yoga and treatment that will build coping mechanisms, Snyder said.

The goal, says Snyder, is to accept everyone, including Medicaid patients. Another Lutheran official said Maple Heights will be a place police officers can bring individuals for evaluation. Snyder said she would look for an opportunity to work with the criminal justice system.

It won’t take long to fill the beds, said Allen Superior Court Judge Andrew Williams, who serves as the county’s mental health judge as well as adjudicating civil cases.

According to his bio on the court’s website, Williams “is responsible for issuing emergency detention orders for mental health evaluations and deciding Petitions for Involuntary Commitments. He also oversees the Superior Court’s Mental Health Task Force which includes members of law enforcement, mental healthcare providers, and community mental health advocates.

“When St. Joe closed up its psychiatric unit, we were in a position where we had to send people out of the county,” Williams said Wednesday. “This is very exciting. It opens up another option for us.” Allen County also receives patients from other counties “because we have the best resources,” he added.

The current available option is Parkview Behavioral Health, which has 89 beds with 124 beds available in the Parkview system overall, according to Chuck Clark, president of Parkview Behavioral Institute and CEO of Park Center.