(Photo Courtesy of Lutheran Community Services Northwest)
In just under a year, Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) has doubled in size from 40 to nearly 80 employees in response to the growing behavioral health needs of Crook county residents. In July 2017, LCSNW purchased the St. Charles Pioneer Memorial Hospital facility, a 12-acre campus and 96,000 square foot building space to provide a multitude of mental health services. With the growth and expansion, LCSNW has become a premiere employer in the county offering competitive salaries and rich benefit plans. LCSNW has also created a robust intern program where students get clinical exposure to adult behavior health, child youth and family, intake and engagement, crisis and other on-site programming.
In an intentional effort to respond to the mental health and substance use disorder needs of Central Oregon, LCSNW has worked hard to create holistic programming. LCSNW offers a variety of mental health services including but not limited to anger management, group counseling, WRAP around services, school-based services, young adult in transition treatment hub, gambling addiction services, community support services, assertive community treatment, a mobile crisis team, medication management services, employment support, substance use disorders, residential housing, intellectual developmental disabilities programs and other services. Daily assessments for walk-ins are available through our robust Intake and Engagement office.
“LCSNW has beautified the building which includes a resource room where clients can warm themselves from the elements, use the computer, rest and have social interaction. A calming Zen garden is in the works, food pantry and clothing bank on site, therapy dogs warm the hallways and the walls are covered with beautiful paintings by Walter Lee, LPC who happens to be an art therapist on staff. New modalities such as Pilates, yoga, meditation, veteran services and older adult behavioral health programs are on the horizon to be offered at LCSNW. It is amazing to see what used to be a vacant shell of a building that has now transformed into an oasis for the full spectrum of mental health services,” said Julie Leutschaft, human resources business partner. “We are constantly looking at grant opportunities to help fund future programming.”
Our nation is in a mental health crisis. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being of the individual. It affects how people think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Over the course of life, everyone at some point in time, will experience mental health problems, which adversely affect thinking, mood and behavior.
LCSNW normalizes mental health issues and wants to get the conversation started.
Mental health problems are common and LCSNW wants the community to know that help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.