Release: LifeWays Begins Remodel to Expanded Physical Health Care and Crisis Services January 18, 2020 A groundbreaking on January 17 celebrated the beginning of a multistage, yearlong renovation to expand integrated healthcare services and 24/7 crisis services at LifeWays Community Mental Health. This renovation was paid for by Jackson County bond. In July of 2018, LifeWays celebrated the completion of a lobby remodel and opening of the Crisis R&R. The new lobby enriched the consumer experience with an open, friendly reception area and barrier-free bathrooms. This renovation was also paid for by Jackson County bond. “As we move forward from this foundational step,” says CEO Maribeth Leonard, “we continue with an integrated approach to healthcare, combining mental and physical. We have already partnered with primary healthcare providers, like the Center for Family Health, in several programs and initiatives. In the future, we plan to fully integrate primary healthcare into a true clinical atmosphere here at LifeWays.” According to the World Health Organization, people with serious mental illness (SMI) die 10 to 25 years earlier than the general population. The challenges of having a SMI affects a person’s ability to maintain healthy lifestyle practices and seek primary healthcare services. People with SMI, for example, are two times more likely than the general population to use tobacco and often die younger due to preventable tobacco-related health conditions. Providing on-site primary care services fully integrated into the behavioral health services will increase access to disease prevention, disease management and improve health outcomes. Crisis services, the other important part of renovation, will be available 24/7 after renovation. Crisis R&R, the emergency department alternative for mental health crisis, has already seen over 400 people in the last year, 88% of which were successfully safety planned home. This reduces the burden on the Emergency Department and provides better care to people using these services. Visitors to Crisis R&R speak to either a crisis clinician or a peer support specialist, someone who has a mental illness and is in recovery, within 15 minutes of arrival. They are also better able to connect with ongoing mental health services as well as other resources in the 211 database. Currently, Crisis R&R is open at LifeWays in Jackson from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. There is no cost or copay to the services provided in the Crisis R&R. LifeWays Community Mental Health LifeWays Community Mental Health provides mental health support, information, and services to residents of Jackson and Hillsdale counties. LifeWays ensures that all county residents who have a severe mental illness, emotional disturbance, intellectual or developmental disability, or substance use disorder receive the services they need to assist them in recovery. Hope and help begin at LifeWays Community Mental Health.