Manchester Teams with Treatment Providers for Renewed Effort to Respond to Addiction Epidemic
February 6, 2018
New Partnerships to Replace Serenity Place Programs; Safe Station to Continue for Manchester; Crisis Hotline Use Encouraged Statewide
Manchester, NH – Citing lessons learned from the closing of the non-profit substance use treatment center known as Serenity Place, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, emergency responders and a team of providers, including Families in Transition, the Farnum Center and Granite Pathways, have developed a new strategy for responding to the opioid crisis in New Hampshire. In an effort to preserve Safe Station as a critical entry point for care, the Mayor and providers have developed a new network to respond to those in need.
“The experience of Serenity Place showed us we need a better network of providers to stand ready to answer calls for help, no one entity can do this work alone. We need a streamlined program for our city, combined with a parallel effort to respond to the statewide needs of those suffering from substance use disorders,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Over half of the people seeking treatment in Manchester came to Safe Station from different communities around the state and region. Our plan works to respond to their needs without overwhelming the resources of Manchester’s providers.”
“Safe Station will continue to remain an entry way for people who don’t know where to go and haven’t sought help. It’s the first step,” added Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan. “We want people who are familiar with treatment to return to their original provider, which will offer more advanced and case-specific care to respond to their immediate needs. It’s really a matter of connecting the right providers with the right client. We will continue to help all who ask for it, but our system will be more robust.”
The Manchester Fire Department will work with local organizations to continue operating as a 24-hour access point for those seeking help. Firefighters will then direct individuals to Granite Pathways, who will conduct a screening to determine what services are needed. They will then connect with area hospitals or treatment facilities to determine what level of care is needed and available.
“This approach allows us to choose between more services than were previously aligned and available,” explains Maureen Beauregard, President of Families in Transition, “We need to direct people to the specific services they need. By engaging more providers, we have more opportunities to help people right away.”
“Farnum Center is ready to support Safe Station and Granite Pathways to utilize all available resources and find the right services for those in need. Farnum has increased their Open Access capacity in the Outpatient Department at 700 Lake Ave. Anyone can walk in and meet with a counselor and be accessed for the correct level of care. Staff will then work with clients to get them into a program appropriate for their needs,” explains Dr. Cheryl Wilkie, Senior Vice President of Substance Abuse Services for Farnum Center. “Collaboration and communication are the key to successfully responding to the needs of our citizens.”
While residents can still access treatment providers through Safe Station, families throughout the state are encouraged to call the Statewide Addiction Crisis Hotline (1-844-711-HELP) for care close to home.
This 24-hour hotline will work to help anyone in New Hampshire access inpatient or outpatient substance use treatment as soon as possible. Accessing care through this hotline will be an effective way to ensure people get into the treatment they need in their community rather than overwhelming the resources of one community by traveling to Manchester and accessing Safe Station.
Meantime, those seeking help who have entered treatment in the past will be encouraged to return to their most recent provider to continue services. “We made a promise to our citizens, that if they need help, we will be there to answer the call,” says Goonan. “Safe Station has taken in thousands of people and will continue to help those in need through local partnerships and support from the Mayor’s office.”
Mayor Craig also believes this system will allow the city’s leaders to measure outcomes and reinforce those programs that are most successful. “The goal is to help everyone who needs it while providing the best possible care available in any community. I am thankful to all of the community members who have stepped up to help Manchester keep the Safe Station program intact. Together, I believe this new approach will more successfully help those in need find the correct services.”