Why is Rescue Mental Health and Addiction Services closed?

After decades of providing mental health and addiction services, there is a risk that Rescue will have to close its doors after it became known that funding could be withdrawn.

TOLEDO, Ohio – For the past 50 years, Rescue Mental Health and Addiction Services on Collingwood Blvd. was there to serve the community.

However, the facility and the services it provides are now at risk after the Lucas County Mental Health Recovery Services Board announced that it will no longer provide funding to the organization.

Now staff and community members are urging to keep the doors open, saying that the services of Rescue are essential to the wider Toledo community.

“We’re closing the loop, and we’ve always done that. We receive calls around the clock from people in need, ”said Betsey Kastner, social worker at Rescue and Executive Delegate for the Service Employees International Union.

The organization says it received notice from the Mental Health Recovery Services Board that its funding for basic services could be withdrawn as early as June 30th.

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“We can bill, but some of the services we offer are aimed at those members of the community who are absolutely uninsured. So they are not solvent.” said Kastner. “The Board of Mental Health Recovery Services has always provided the resources to help us meet their needs.”

Crisis services will continue to be offered after June 30, according to a statement from The Mental Health Recovery Services Board.

The statement went on to say that “we intend that Rescue’s current employees will be an integral part of future plans. Actions are underway and the plans will be announced to the community as soon as they are finalized.”

However, rescue workers say their mission has always been to help and that this cannot happen when their doors are closed.

“The services we provide are important. The people who work here are important. The customers we serve are important. The community we want to serve is important and we all work together to make it happen.” reach out to help those who need them. ” it, “said Hunter Turner, a mental health technician at Rescue.

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The Mental Health Recovery Services Board says it offered Rescue several extensions and negotiations, but it was not approved. They also say discussions about a 90-day extension are still on the table.

The following is the full statement of the board of directors:

“Please rest assured that even after June 30th, 2021, crisis services will be available that meet the needs of our community. We intend that current Rescue employees will be an integral part of future plans announced to the community as they are finished.

The board of directors is aware of the protest against the crisis management in Lucas County planned for Saturday morning. We join the Rescue staff in their extreme disappointment with Rescue’s recent announcement of the impending closure.

The board has done everything in its power to prevent today’s situation.

On several occasions, Rescue has been offered a six month contract renewal to ensure that our current crisis management system continues to operate while the good faith negotiations and the lawsuit they have filed continued.

Rescue decided to close instead.

Rescue was also offered a three-month contract extension to enable a smooth transition of the services to an alternative provider.

Rescue decided to close instead.

Rescue was given the opportunity to meet with the board and a mediator to resolve this situation.

Rescue decided to close instead.

The Board of Directors believes that there are questions that should be addressed to the Rescue leadership:

  • What motivates these destructive acts?
  • What severance packages will Rescue’s Executive Leadership Team receive if Rescue is closed?
  • Why did Rescue staff first learn from The Blade that Rescue was closing instead of hearing directly from the Rescue leadership?
  • Why are Rescue’s leadership rejecting the board’s renewal offers?
  • Why doesn’t the Rescue Board of Trustees intervene on behalf of its employees and the clients they serve?

The board remains open to discussions with Rescue over a 90-day extension.

Rescue’s actions are in contrast to the actions of the Board of Directors, which enable a thoughtful, considered, and collaborative approach to developing a world-class crisis management system in Lucas County. It encompassed all major community stakeholders, including Rescue.

The system developed from this process was described in detail in a report published in December 2019. The call for applications was published in November 2020. Rescue responded to the tender in January 2021, but Rescue filed a lawsuit against the board and the court ordered us to drop the process.

Rather than working with the board of directors, following the recommendations and vision of the CPES committee for the future, Rescue announced that it would close with a month’s notice. The closure is harming both Rescue staff and the community. The board believes that our crisis management system is an integral part of our community. Every action we have taken reflects this belief. The same cannot be said of the Rescue leadership. “

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