SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A new short term housing facility helping those experiencing mental health challenges that don’t qualify for hospitalization opened today in Saratoga County. The treatment center is one of only two in the state.
Skies were cloudy as Saratoga county officials cut the ribbon on sunrise retreat. It’s an intensive care facility designed to treat those whose mental health crises don’t require hospitalization, or those just emerging from hospitalization.
“To have the second crisis intensive housing in New York State be located, right here is going to be such an aid to the people in our community who are struggling” said Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner.
Ideas for the 12 bed facility date back to 2018. It’s the second if it’s kind in the state. Patients —or clients — as the facility calls them, will have their own bedrooms.
Program Director Jacqueline Newton, who is a registered nurse, gave us an all access tour. Newton tells us that Sunrise makes an effort to have the bedrooms appeal to both men and women because the facility is co-ed.
“I can’t say that we should have a male facility or female facility. There’s no greater need for either side.”
The program director told NEWS10 that it’s important for Sunrise to feel like home, so clients can be comfortable during recovery.
It’s important that the clients don’t just keep to themselves. That’s why the facility provides communal areas like a kitchen to where they can develop life skills like cooking which she says builds confidence. A dining room where they can eat with other patients or even invite loved ones to come and visit. There’s even a game room with amenities like coloring and chess which Newton is not only therapeutic but encourages interaction.
“Isolation is probably one of the leading causes of an increase in mental health. And if you have a group setting, and a home like family setting it gives you more of a solid ground” Newton told us.
Jackie says facilities like these are important as conversation about mental health comes to the forefront of our national awareness.
“They don’t want to feel like they’re weak and they don’t wanna feel like people are going to judge them. So they don’t seek help and that’s why I have an increase in suicide” Newton added.