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Relocated Rosecrance Ware Center further integrates mental health, addiction services

The Ware Center delivers outpatient mental health services.

Rosecrance has transformed a long-vacant grocery store in Rockford, Illinois, into a modern new home for the Ware Center, helping to strengthen and integrate behavioral health services in the community.

The Ware Center delivers outpatient mental health services to more than 5,500 adults each year. The new 42,000-square-foot facility has a modern design with a spacious lobby and includes staff offices, group meeting rooms and a pharmacy.

Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton said the larger space, combined with a talented, compassionate staff, helps to create a new pathway for recovery for people who suffer from serious mental illness and addictive disorders.

“We assessed our needs, and we set priorities to reflect our corporate values for client dignity, program space and staff and client safety, keeping the consumers’ recovery goals — not their illness — at the center of our plan,” Eaton said. “We’re building on the strengths and abilities of each individual, inspiring hope and empowering them to live purposeful lives.

“These are our citizens that we serve. These are our neighbors. And that’s who’s going to be coming to this building.”

Rosecrance has invested about $10 million during the last year to improve vacant, derelict properties in Rockford. In October, the Rosecrance Mulberry Center opened in a former plasma donation center to provide triage and crisis residential services together under one roof for people experiencing psychiatric crises. The facility is one of a kind in Illinois, and its renovation cost was aided by a state grant.

A detoxification program for clients who have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders will start in that facility in early 2015.

The new Ware Center nearly doubles the available space for clients, staff and programs. The space is spread out across one floor as opposed to being split up among four floors at the old building.

The Resource Recovery Center, an interactive space where clients can mingle, socialize and work with staff, is bigger and its entrance is just past the front desk. There’s also an art room and a chapel, a signature component of Rosecrance treatment facilities.

Bamboo doors and wall panels, real trees in the lobby and energy-efficient lighting throughout give the building a warm, welcoming feeling, as do tones of green, tan and blue.

Adult outpatient mental health services are the bulk of what’s offered at the Ware Center, but the new location also allows for the relocation of some adult and youth substance counseling and a unique outpatient substance abuse counseling program for moms involved with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The goal is to treat clients in a dignified, efficient manner, no matter what they need.

“We want clients to be able to come to any door and say, ‘Here’s what is going on with me,’ which is the philosophy of the no-wrong-door approach,” said Anne Fridh, administrator of the Ware Center.

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