In the 10 years that the Lindner Center of HOPE has been in existence it has been fortunate to be able to establish itself as one of the leading independent mental health facilities in the U.S., says Dr. Paul Keck, president and CEO of the facility in Mason.

But it’s not the past 10 years on which Keck is focusing. Instead, it’s the future. “These kinds of anniversaries are worth noting and worth reflecting on all that we’ve accomplished,” he says. “But we’re more excited about the next 10 years than the last.”

That’s because there’s been so much more development in the types of treatment options available to patients with mental health issues. “We know a lot more about the specific parts of the brain that are involved in specific psychiatric illnesses,” says Keck. “The neuroscience behind psychiatry has never been more extensive.”

One of the studies doctors at the Lindner Center of HOPE are working on, in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic, is finding the gene or genes that pose a risk for people with bipolar disorder, he says. “We know that most people inherit a risk for developing certain mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, which is among the most genetic of all psychiatric illnesses,” he says.

That research is an important part of what the Lindner Center of HOPE does for the health of the community. All of the physicians and psychologists on staff at Lindner Center of HOPE are also UC College of Medicine faculty, says Keck.

One of those doctors, Susan L. McElroy, is an internationally recognized leader in drug development for bipolar disorder, eating disorders, obesity, impulse control disorders and pharmacology, he says. Because of her affiliation with the Lindner Center of HOPE the facility is then able to serve as a pipeline for promising treatments for people who might not have responded to the best evidence-based treatments, says Keck. And that enables the Lindner Center of HOPE to offer new, cutting-edge approaches to treat those illnesses, he says.

In addition to its research capabilities, the Lindner Center of HOPE also provides psychiatric hospitalization and partial hospitalization for individuals age 12 years and older, outpatient services for all ages, diagnostic and short-term residential services for adults and adolescents, outpatient services for substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders for adults.

And the facility has evolved to meet the needs of the community in its 10-year existence. For example, the Lindner Center of HOPE added a specialized addiction program several years ago to try to help with the heroin epidemic, Keck says.

Dealing with the heroin epidemic has been the biggest change faculty at the Lindner Center of HOPE has seen, he says. “That caught all of us in this community, mental health and otherwise, by surprise that this epidemic really just exploded,” Keck says. “Everyone is struggling just to address it with prevention and especially treatment because overdosing on opiates is often lethal.”

The Lindner Center of HOPE has helped more than 30,000 people in the past 10 years, says Keck. But there are many more people in need of help. “There’s a great limitation on the number of resources available,” he says. “So we hope to grow and help more people with each passing year.” 

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