Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Move to new location allows The Open Door to expand

by on March 12, 2013 11:00 AM

The Open Door, a local provider of counseling services for drug and alcohol treatment and mental illnesses, will move this week to a larger location at The Atrium.

The facility will move from 334 Philadelphia St. to 665 Philadelphia St. to occupy the entire second floor of the Atrium building.

Mental health crisis services — for both walk-ins and the hotline — will have no gap in availability and will be staffed at the new facility Friday beginning at 8 a.m., officials said.

“There will be no interruption of our mental health crisis walk-in or hotline services,” said Vince Mercuri, executive director.

Drug and alcohol treatment from the current facility will end on Friday, the day of the move, and will resume Monday.

And all phone numbers — (877) 333-2470 for the crisis line and (724) 465-2605 for main facility — will remain the same.

The move will increase the square footage of The Open Door from 7,560 to 11,948 square feet, Mercuri said.

It will also provide more separate areas for drug and alcohol services and mental health services.

“We’re pretty excited,” Mercuri said.

The new facility will offer the same walk-in crisis center services, staffed with specialists, and two crisis lock-in rooms with more privacy from the drug and alcohol services area.

Regarding drug and alcohol treatment areas, there will be six group rooms, up from four currently. If needed, the kitchen can be divided into two additional group rooms.

The kitchen area will allow more self-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, to hold meetings there.

More than 600 clients now receive treatment each year through the drug and alcohol portion of The Open Door, Mercuri said.

The Open Door is also in the process for obtaining a partial treatment license, which will allow people who leave residential programs to come five days a week for at least 15 hours for group and individual sessions, Mercuri said. Currently, those clients come three days a week. This is expected to begin July 1.

This type of service will help with preventing relapses, Mercuri said, because the more treatment that is available to clients, the less likely they are to relapse.

The move will offer a new environment, and create the opportunity to name rooms “in the fashion of recovery,” with related philosophies, such as the Gratitude Room, he said. Little details like this help “plant seeds of wellness.”

In addition to staff from The Open Door, the Armstrong-Indiana Drug and Alcohol Commission will have two rooms for staff, and an office will allow for an on-site doctor two days a week, contracted through Arc Manor, to prescribe but not dispense medicine for opium addicts.

This program is new within the last two years as a response to the needs of the community, Mercuri said.

This is its seventh location for The Open Door in about 40 years.

Entrance to the new facility will be at the back of the building from Nixon Avenue only. Free parking is available for clients.



Margaret Harper has served as a Gazette staff writer since 2006. She covers Clymer Borough, the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District and Blairsville court, and also works in the areas of layout, design and editing. She can be reached at mharper@indianagazette.net.
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