Grand Mental Health cut the ribbon to open a first-of-its-kind therapeutic home on Thursday that provides a five-to-seven-day, intensive behavioral health treatment in a fully stocked, furnished and monitored house.
The Brief Stay Therapeutic Home is believed to be the first such facility in Oklahoma and possibly nationwide.
“We want to treat not just people in the least restrictive environment, but the whole family. [We want to] keep them in their own communities so the kids don’t get removed and sent somewhere hours away where the parents can’t be involved in treatment,” said Josh Cantwell, GMH chief operating officer.
“Picture this, if a 10-year-old has a six-month inpatient stay, that’s 5% of their life that they’ve lost,” he said.
Bartlesville City Council member Billie Roane says the new facility is a massive asset for Bartlesville.
“The Brief Stay Therapeutic Home is helping people once they come out of a facility or have had some issues with their family, and the family actually moves in here and they’re monitored,” she said. “They’re encouraged, giving them a place for a soft landing, not just going right back home and getting back into the same issues that caused everything in the first place.”
GMH chose Bartlesville to launch the pilot program because the community has one of the highest populations of children the organization serves and one of the largest populations of kids admitted to an inpatient setting. GMH hopes to have three of these homes in Bartlesville and one in every community they serve.
The home, which will open next month to serve its first family, is expected to help 52 families a year.
In creating the Brief Stay Therapeutic Home, Cantwell said they looked at the outcome they wanted to achieve in Bartlesville, which is to reduce the number of children separated from their families, and worked backward on how to achieve that goal.
The overall goal for GMH is simple: Reduce the number of people committing suicide, Cantwell said. The key to that is greater access to behavioral health services.
“In the 12 counties that we serve, about 2.6% of the people are receiving services with us right now, and we know that a conservative estimate is 18% to 23% of people need some kind of help for mental health or substance use issues,” added Cantwell.
In addition to the new home, GMH is opening a 24-hour crisis center in Bartlesville and provides iPads to their patients that allows them to connect with a licensed mental health professional 24 hours a day/seven days a week.
According to GMH Chief Clinical Officer Jeff Harlin, the group’s services have snowballed since achieving certified community behavioral health clinic status in 2017. That allowed GMH to receive federal funding that prioritized outcomes over providing services to patients.
Harlin explained that by moving to an outcome-based model, the organization gets healthier patients, more referrals, attracts better talent and health care professionals, and in the end, attracts more funding because GMH is providing a service that works to better the community.