HELENA — The Center for Mental Health has officially opened its newest mental health group home in Helena after three years of planning and building.
Staff and the Helena Chamber of Commerce celebrated the opening of the Sleeping Giant Group Home, a new facility to help individuals that may be suffering from mental health issues or recovering and need a place to stay to fully get back on their feet.
"Part of our envisioning process was to build something that allowed people to recover, to receive the support that they need to be able to thrive, and to set goals for their life,” says Sydney Blair, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Mental Health. “I think that everybody involved did a really beautiful job of accomplishing that."
This new 12-bed facility is in addition to their other eight-bed facility in Helena. The home hosted an open house on Wednesday to showcase the hard work and acknowledge the high demand for this facility.
“We have many people who are actually on the waiting list trying to get into communities and the problem is they can't find a group home,” says Shawn Winters, the center’s Residential Service Line Director. “They are full, others do not have enough housing that's in that category."
The center says they have about 20 individuals on the waiting list just from referrals from the state hospital. The organization encourages those struggling with mental health to reach out and get connected with someone who can help them.
“If you are struggling, talk to your friend, your mother, your father or whoever it is, a doctor, and get the help that you need. That may include that you're in a position where you don't have safe housing or you are struggling to maintain the community. We like to understand that part of recovery can be staying in a group home while you get better," says Winters.
The group home said they already have six individuals living in this facility and it's very likely that they will fill the other six beds very soon. The facility admitted they overcame many challenges due to COVID-19 such as workforce shortages and getting supplies to finish the facility.