Mental health center moves into new offices

MARSHALL — Western Mental Health Center officially moved into its new offices on East College Drive in March, and local health care providers say it’s been a positive move for more than one reason. The new offices don’t just give WMHC more space — they also allow WMHC to partner with local health care providers, under one roof.

It’s an integrated approach to health care, said WMHC Executive Director Sarah Ackerman.

“It allows us to be able to coordinate,” she said.

In addition to WMHC, both Open Door Health Center and Fixen Chiropractic have office space in the new building.

Before construction began on the new building, WMHC had outgrown its Marshall offices, which were spread through three buildings on East College Drive. In 2016, two of the old buildings were torn down to make way for a new, two-story office building.

Having more space has helped allow WMHC to expand its services and hire more psychiatric care providers, Ackerman said. The new building also features bigger waiting areas, space for family and individual therapy and telehealth equipment. Telehealth uses teleconferencing technology to help psychiatrists meet with clients.

“It’s been really great for not only our staff, but our clients,” Ackerman said of the move into the new building.

But besides giving WMHC providers more space and clients a better experience, Ackerman said working together with local health care providers was an important part of the new office plan.

“It was always part of our vision,” she said.

The main floor of the new building has primary care suites, a lab, an on-site pharmacy and offices where chiropractors from Fixen Chiropractic can meet with patients.

Having multiple health care providers in the same building makes a difference for patients, said Deb Cleveland, nurse practitioner at Open Door’s Marshall clinic. Sometimes, she said, people might be in need of both mental health and primary care services. Having convenient access to different providers helps patients and takes the stress out of getting medical care, Ackerman said.

“It’s great for us and for the patients,” Cleveland said. It also allows primary care providers to coordinate with mental health care providers.

WMHC’s location on East College Drive also helps put clients within easy traveling distance of other local health care providers, Ackerman said.

“We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from our clients,” Ackerman said, and the building project has also gotten support from the Marshall area community, counties in WMHC’s service region, and area organizations like Southwest Health and Human Services.

“We’ve been really fortunate,” Ackerman said. “They all have been in favor of and willing to support our efforts.”

The project was also financed with help from a tax-exempt bond from the city of Canby. WMHC is thankful for the encouragement and support they’ve been shown, Ackerman said.

Members of the public are invited to tour WMHC’s new offices during an open house June 21. The event will be from 4-6 p.m.