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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: August 16, 2012


NEW CASTLE (Aug. 15, 2012) - Recovery Innovations, funded by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, will begin providing comprehensive recovery-based behavioral health services from its renovated facility in Ellendale for individuals in Kent and Sussex counties who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

The new program, referred to as the Crisis and Psychiatric Assessment Center, will open Aug. 20 as the Recovery Response Center.

Kevin Ann Huckshorn, director of DHSS's Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH), will join Gene Johnson, president and CEO of Recovery Innovations, at an open house for the facility from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17. The phone number for the center, at 700 Main St. in Ellendale, is (302) 424-5660.

"This is another step in improving state-funded services for residents in Kent and Sussex counties," said DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf. "Being able to help individuals in crisis closer to where they live is part of the state's commitment to provide more community-based mental health services for all Delawareans."

The Ellendale Recovery Response Center is a 23-hour crisis assessment and engagement program for individuals 18 years of age and older with significant mental health and/or substance use challenges. The goal of the Recovery Response Center's services is to divert from hospitalization and higher levels of care by rapidly getting to know the person's needs, engage in a voluntary recovery opportunity, and connect to community services and supports.

Recovery Innovations has extensive experience operating similar programs in five other locations around the country, leading the behavioral health field by the development and application of the best practices of no-force-first, trauma-informed care, peer support, and recovery outcomes. A nurse practitioner is either on-site or on-call 24/7 and works under the supervision of Recovery Innovations' medical director, psychiatrist Dyanne Simpson. Additional 24/7 staff includes mental health professionals, psychiatric nurses, and peer support specialists. A constable is on duty 24/7.

"We are excited to be expanding our ability to provide crisis intervention services down state that are comparable to those available in New Castle County and very pleased to be partnering with Recovery Innovations in this endeavor," said Kevin Ann Huckshorn, DSAMH Director. "The opening of this facility is also a vital step toward implementing House Bill 311 changes that will improve the care and protect the civil rights of persons in recovery from mental illness and substance use disorders."

Gene Johnson, president and CEO of Recovery Innovations adds, "I am delighted that the State of Delaware has the vision and leadership to create this exciting resource for its citizens in need. The Recovery Response Center will be a reflection of our mission; to provide opportunities and environments that empower people to recover. We will offer a welcoming and friendly healing space where those we serve will find renewed hope that recovery is possible and that they can return to a life in their community with their family, neighbors and friends. I am truly honored to be the provider of this essential resource as part of Delaware's vision of expanded and effective community-based behavioral health services."

For more information, contact Dara Schumaier, community relations officer for DHSS' Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, at (302) 255-2717.

For more information about Recovery Response Center, contact Gene Johnson, President/CEO, at (302) 424-5660.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.