Groundbreaking held for mental health rehabilitation center in Athens

ATHENS — This past weekend, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Ohio and the Athens-Hocking-Vinton 317 Board broke ground on the Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center, a 16-bed rehabilitation facility which allows patients leaving Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare (ABH) up to 50 days to stabilize before re-entering the community.

The average stay at ABH is only seven days, a time period not long enough to prepare many patients for life outside a secure environment.

The center is located next to the Athens-Hocking-Vinton 317 Board office in Athens. The families of Adam Knapp and Amanda Baker, for whom the center is named after, were in attendance and spoke at the groundbreaking.

Both Adam and Amanda tragically lost their lives due to mental illness only days after being released from inpatient psychiatric facilities and after multiple attempts to receive care.

The Knapp and Baker families both stated in their remarks that this center will allow the legacies of their children to live on and help others to recover from the illnesses that took their lives.

The Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center will be the first of its kind to operate in Ohio and it is the hope of NAMI Ohio to open five more regional centers throughout the state.

The groundbreaking ceremony also included speeches from Athens Mayor Steve Patterson, Representative Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville), Earl Cecil, Director of the 317 Board, Jane Krason, Superintendent of ABH, and other representatives from various groups that have supported this project.