History of Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center
The plan to offer mental health services in Southern Ohio began in 1962 when a steering committee was organized to open a mental health center in the area. By 1964, five counties: Ross, Pickaway, Pike, Highland and Fayette, were involved with the steering committee. On the 18th day of May 1965, Dr Noel Williams, Miss Martha E Cottrill and Mr. Robert L Brubaker filed Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State's office to create the Scioto Paint Valley Guidance Center as a non-profit corporation. This remained the name of the Center until the Board of Trustees voted on October 14, 1976 to change the name to its present designation of the Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center to reflect its broader range of services.
After much work and planning, the doors of the mental health center were opened to the public in 1966. The agency was located at 39 South Paint Street, Chillicothe, Ohio and was staffed by one full time psychiatrist and a secretary/receptionist. The Board of Trustees were also organized at this time and consisted mostly of members from the Mental Health Association in the five counties. The initial budget for the Center was $54,000.
A psychiatric social worker was added to the staff in 1967. In 1969, the Paint Valley Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board was organized in compliance with House Bill 648. The Agency's services continued to be in demand and a psychologist was hired to help meet the community's need for mental health services.
In 1973, 1974 and 1975, the Ross County Health Planning Council identified mental health services as a priority need of Ross County. To support this idea the Health Planning Council formed a subcommittee of 20 local citizens to study mental health needs in the area. The subcommittee completed their report in 1975. Their recommendation was to expand mental health services and to support the expansion by proposing a one-mill levy that would draw additional state per captia funds for the expansion goals. The Mental Health Association was reactivated to promote the levy and the levy passed in November of 1975 when other levies were failing. The community recognized the need for mental health services and supported them with their own monies.
The Ross County campaign did not go unnoticed in the four other counties: Pike, Pickaway, Highland and Fayette were interested in expanding the mental health services in their communities too. County Commissioners were approached about the need for mental health services and after much work, limited funding was provided so that full or part time offices could be opened in their counties. Pike County was the first satellite office to open in 1976.
In November 1976 the Substance Abuse Program was formed. The staff for this program consisted of a Substance Abuse Coordinator and two staff members who provided services for the five counties in the Catchment Area.
The Agency experienced an abundance of growth in 1977. The levy support had enabled the agency services to include outpatient, aftercare, a crisis intervention center and partial hospitalization services. The awareness of mental health concepts and needs were growing and because of this, the 648 Catchment Planning Authority submitted the "Planning Application" to enable the designing of comprehensive services.
On October 3, 1978 the Center received notification for funding of the Initial Operations Grant by the National Institute of Mental Health. Since then, the agency has experienced very rapid growth and expansion of services. Due to the rapid growth, the agency decided to become decentralized, establishing all program elements under the direction of the Satellite Director so that each operational unit functioned as a local clinic with an array of services overseen by a centralized administrative unit that handled the common functions of planning and policy.
The Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center, a non-profit, federally funded comprehensive mental health center, continued to provide mental health services, drug treatment and education and prevention to the community in 1980. As a result of the NIMH funding and designation as a comprehensive center, the staff grew to include over 130 professional and support personnel who were providing services to approximately 1,500 clients in January of 1980. Furthermore, the agency formally defined its purpose and philosophy as a Community Mental Health System.
The purpose of the agency is to establish, maintain and operate a regional mental health center for the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional difficulties of individuals regardless of age, race, creed or financial condition, and to establish programs of prevention, identification and early intervention of mental and emotional disorders. Furthermore, the clinics are to participate in a program of community dedication intended to further public understanding of mental health, to perform all lawful things necessary to carry out the foregoing purpose, including the holding of real estate and to develop a comprehensive center under a single administration or through contracting specific services through other agencies, encompassing as complete a range of coordinated services as possible.
The distinguishing philosophy of the Center is its commitment to tailor services for each of the five counties in the Catchment Area, with community involvement for each. By doing so, the Center hopes to develop a response set to the community based on what it needs for its citizens, what it is willing to pay for, and what it is willing to use, rather than merely providing programs that represent the interests of Center practitioners and planners.
The year of 1981 saw SPVMHC open two brand new clinic buildings in the Pike and Fayette County agencies that had been under construction for some time. Land was purchased in Highland and Pickaway Counties with the intention of building new clinics as well. In addition, ground was broken adjacent to the Mental Center Hospital outside of Chillicothe for the new Ross County Clinic building and Central Administrative Offices. The Mid-Ohio Health Planning Federation approved a Certificate of Need for an inpatient psychiatric unit to be constructed as part of the Mental Center Hospital complex.
The Ross County Clinic building and Central Administrative offices were officially opened for business on June 29, 1982. A ribbon cutting and Open House were held on September 19, 1982. The 15 bed Inpatient Unit opened on May 23, 1983.