Donation puts Center for Mental Health over the top for courtyard improvement

The Center for Mental Health is a step closer to being able to complete an outdoor courtyard at its crisis walk-in center, with a $10,000 donation from QHR Health.

The donation, coupled with $5,000 from staff and community members on Colorado Gives Day; $1,000 from Rocky Mountain Health Foundation and $2,500 from the Montrose Community Foundation, puts the Center well above its fundraising goal for the project.

“As a nonprofit behavioral health provider, we depend upon the generosity of community partners, like QHR Health, to fund enhancements to our facilities. This donation will enable us to complete planned enhancements to our crisis walk-in center which provides urgent treatment for individuals who are in crisis due to overwhelming behavioral health challenges,” said Shelly Spalding, CEO for The Center for Mental Health. “The addition of the outdoor courtyard will provide much needed respite for those who are in our care.”

The new courtyard will provide safe, secure, outdoor access to CMH clients where they can benefit from fresh air, sun and the healing power of the outdoors. Currently, CMH clients who may stay for up to five days are unable to safely access an outdoor location.

“Our mission is to strengthen healthcare in rural communities by collaborating with partners to improve access to these services,” said Dwayne Gunter, CEO of QHR Health.

“Together with James Kiser, former CEO of Montrose Memorial Hospital, we are happy to help people in this region. CMH has proven that the need for mental health care was evident and they created a mental health-care resource that meets the needs of those who live on the Western Slope.”

The walk-in center is a life-saving, urgent behavioral healthcare resource serving the Western Slope’s six-county region. Those needing care may come in any time day or night without an appointment and regardless of their ability to pay. Since opening in the fall of 2019, this location has treated more than 1,000 clients, ages 12 to 90.

One element missing from facility is an area where those who are recovering can safely experience the healing power of the outdoors.

“Independent community hospitals and healthcare systems have challenges that are quite different from large, corporate healthcare facilities,” Gunter said.

“At QHR Health, most of us have worked in community hospitals, so we understand the issues communities face. We know the challenges and know that each hospital has its own unique set of demands. That is why the courtyard piqued our interest, it will be a unique but critical part of the healing process.”

This donation comes full circle for QHR Health, which was instrumental in a community needs assessment implemented a few years ago identifying the need for a facility like the crisis walk-in center Montrose. Previously, individuals in crisis needed to travel to Grand Junction or Denver to receive care.