New mental health facility looks to fill gap in available treatment

New mental health facility planned

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The HopeWay Foundation announced Wednesday the launch of a therapeutic community in the Charlotte region that will aim to meet the needs of adults living with mental illness.

HopeWay is set to bring renovations on a former school site in southeast Charlotte. The campus will include a 52,000-square-foot building for residential care, therapy, dining and administration. It will also house a gymnasium.

Two single-family homes will be established for transitional living. At full capacity, HopeWay will offer private rooms for 36 residential clients, and facilities
for 50 additional day clients.

The center is scheduled to open during the summer of 2016.

HopeWay officials said they are partnering with Charlotte's two major hospital systems, Carolinas HealthCare System and Novant Health, as a complement to the hospitals' behavioral health services.

Within a 100-mile radius of Charlotte, more than 230,000 adults suffer from serious mental illness, according to HopeWay.

"Like many others, our family has been profoundly affected by mental illness and endured a frustrating journey to find help – leading to our commitment to create HopeWay," said William F. Blue Jr., chairman of the HopeWay Foundation.

"There is a striking void between acute-care hospitals and the doctor's or therapist's office. We believe hope is truly on the way in our region to fill this gap in the continuum of care."

National research shows almost 90 percent of people receiving a proper diagnosis and treatment experience reduced symptoms and pursue more independent lives.

Research also suggests two-thirds of people go without treatment because of an inability to access care and the stigma associated with mental illness.

"Well, right now we don't have a nonprofit residential option available for patients stepping down from acute care, or even preventing an acute
care situation," Blue said.

"The other thing HopeWay will do is make it seamless to stepdown to day treatment. Initially, a six hour program, and then a three program, and then all the way back to an independent life."

HopeWay will officially break ground Thursday at their future location.

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