The Steiner Kelting Mental Wellness Center recently opened its doors to patients in Northwest Chaska.
The facility, located at 9120 Shady Oak Drive, a voluntary alternative to hospitalization, is owned by Carver County and operated by People Incorporated Mental Health Services. It provides 24/7 mental health services to people leaving hospital and no longer in need of hospital care, said Jessica Hill, chief operating officer of People Incorporated.
âWe really saw this as a really unique opportunity to be able to serve those who need this type of care, right here in our own community,â said Rod Franks, Carver County director of health and social services.
People Incorporated has been providing mental health services for over 50 years in the metro area. The organization serves about 11,000 clients per year and has about 60 programs, Hill said.
Up to 12 patients, who are assessed as safe in the community, can be treated at a time. The establishment offers both short-term stays, from 1 to 10 days, or long-term care, from 60 to 90 days. Patients are referred to the facility through their primary health care provider, mental health care provider or hospital.
As simplistic as it sounds, “this mix of short and long term care is something that has never been done before,” Hill said. “It’s something we’ve been conceptualizing for about two years and we’re excited to make it a reality.”
Located on the corner of Lake Bavaria, the establishment offers patients a peaceful environment. The town of Chaska donated the land to Ridgeview Medical Center in 2008. Marie Steiner Kelting Hospice Home operated the property until 2017.
Following its closure in 2018, Ridgeview worked with Carver County to convert the space into a mental health facility. The county expanded and renovated the facility from 2019 to 2021 with the help of a $ 1.25 million state bond.
The wellness facility offers a service that previously did not exist in the area, Franks said. For people who did not need hospital care but could not be cared for at home, there was no place nearby to go, he said.
People in need of care should go to Mankato or the Twin Cities.
âThink about how it disrupts families, disrupts jobs so people get the service they need,â Franks said.
The establishment offers services to people with mental health problems. It’s a safe place they can go to stabilize their issues and begin their path to well-being âto be reintegrated into their homes and communities as quickly as possible,â Franks said.
Franks says the facility fills a much needed gap in the county’s âmental health care continuumâ. The county already offers a range of services. These services range from outpatient services to mental health case management to partnering with Ridgeview Medical Center to provide inpatient level care.
âThe only piece that was missing was that middle piece, and this facility kind of complements this whole continuum of care,â Franks said.
The facility offers comprehensive assessments and treatment planning by mental health professionals. Patients can participate in group therapy, educational groups, and wellness groups focused on stress reduction, such as yoga, tai chi, art, music, and occupational therapy.
âIt’s evidence-based programming,â said Wendy Waddell, COO of People Incorporated. âIt’sâ¦ care that is informed by what we know about the effects of trauma and focused on recovery. “
Waddell is excited about the potential of the facilities. It’s a beautiful healing environment that’s open and full of natural light and love, she said. The facility has a strong partnership with the Carver County community, she added.
âI really like focusing on partnerships, innovation and working to bring that hope and that healing to the community,â said Waddell.
Franks echoed the role partnerships have played in making the installation a reality. The reason the installation is possible is due to the relationships that exist within the county, with the towns of Victoria and Chaska, Ridgeview Medical Center, People Incorporated, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office and the Chaska Police Department. .
âAll of these partners can come together to do something better than any of us could do alone,â Franks said.
When the county started discussing introducing the facility to the community, people had questions, Franks said, adding that it took time for people to get all the information they needed to get to a conclusion that satisfied them.
âI think people are really starting to understand that this is an advantage,â Franks said. “That there are people in our community who need and need this service and now they can receive it right here.”
According to Franks, Carver County has been working hard to educate the community about the facility. This is one of the reasons the county formed a citizens’ advisory committee. Over time, he has heard less of the concerns that were initially raised.
âWe all have mental health and mental health is the health of the community,â Waddell said. âThis is another opportunity for people with mental illness to find hope and solutions within their community. “