Mental health is on a lot of people’s minds these days.
Not surprising, considering that 2.5 times more Americans suffer from mental illness than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined. It’s currently the country’s number one health problem.
“One in four of us will struggle with mental illness, which means almost everyone has struggled themselves or knows someone who has,” says Paul Crosby, M.D., MBA, president and CEO of Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason. “While we’ve built one of the nation’s most distinguished centers of mental health care, we are dedicated to taking it to the next level.”
That next level is the $30 million “Transforming HOPE” development campaign, launched in May. At the heart of the campaign is the Center’s vision for expanding its facilities, staff and services to tackle the ongoing mental health crisis.
“The fact is, the growing mental health needs of the community are greater than our ability to meet them,” Crosbysays. “This new vision will be a significant step forward in transforming mental illness into mental wellness for so many more patients.”
How is the campaign going?
“It is going well,” Crosby says. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm for it. We’ve all noticed that when we go out to talk about it, people really want to talk. They’re engaged; they want to know what they can do to help. That excites us because we’re here to help as many people as we can by providing the best mental health care possible.”
“We’ve raised just over $6.2 million to date, and we think that’s great progress,” he adds. “There is a mental health crisis, and all funds raised are meant to allow us, as a center, to rise to the challenge.”
The campaign kicked off with initial pledges of $2.5 million from William and Sue Butler and Corporex Companies, LLC, and $3.5 million from several other individual and corporate donors.
“I have seen firsthand how challenging mental health disorders can be, affecting the person and their families, friends and co-workers,” says William Butler, Corporex chairperson. “Access to world-class mental health care is vital for our community to thrive.”
The 19-member all-volunteer “Transforming HOPE” campaign cabinet, made up of community leaders, is co-chaired by Butler and Craig Lindner, co-CEO of American Financial Group Inc., who founded Lindner Center of HOPE with his wife, Frances.
“Our founding goal was to establish a true national center of excellence for mental health care and research,” Lindner says. “We now have best-in-class care, yet the need is more pressing than ever. It is time to come together to meet the needs of
“This is our biggest campaign yet,” says Senior Director of Development Mary Alexander.
“We’re meeting people who’ve never been on our grounds but have heard of Lindner Center of HOPE. So, the campaign is introducing new people to what we do — and do so well — on our campus.”
Key Focus Areas
“We’ve seen a 30% increase in requests for services sustained over the last two years,” Crosby says.
The “Transforming HOPE” vision focuses on four key areas. Each represents a facet of the Center that its leaders maintain must expand to best meet this growing need for quality mental health services in Greater Cincinnati.
The key areas are:
Staff Excellence and Capacity — The Center’s high success rates are directly related to the level of care and experience of its clinicians, widely recognized as among the nation’s best, Crosby notes. Campaign donations will help establish a dedicated endowment fund to build and retain a team of premier and compassionate psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, advanced practice nurses and first-rate researchers.
“We have a lot of providers, but we don’t have enough providers,” Crosby explains. “Providers are in demand; it’s a competitive market.”
Expanded Treatment Capability — The expansion will add treatment units, patient rooms, group spaces, common areas and clinician offices. It also will add apartment-type housing to benefit patients who may best transition from inpatient programs to
independence by learning the life skills necessary to live independently, return to work, resume their education, and find meaningful involvement in the community.
“Assuming we can hire the number of providers we want, we will need more space for them and more room to do the work we do,” Crosby adds.
State-of-the-Science Assessment Center — The cornerstone of mental health is an accurate diagnosis, Center medical officials emphasize, noting that inaccurate or delayed diagnoses can potentially lead to years of additional problems and compounded symptoms. The new Assessment Center is expected to enhance virtual and in-person assessments as well as provide space for patients, their loved ones, doctors and clinicians to fully participate in the assessment process.
“We’re known nationally for our diagnostic assessment capability, and we’d like to expand that,” Crosby says.
New Holistic Wellness Center — According to Crosby, evidence supports an integrative approach to mental health that includes wellness-related activities. Exercise, fitness, nutrition counseling and other similar programs are known to address the whole person, rejuvenating one’s body and mind.
“Those are things we’re not able to offer with our current footprint,” Crosby notes. But as a key focus of the development campaign, providing these amenities in the future promises to further enhance Lindner Center of HOPE’s world-class patient experience.
“We had a mental health crisis before COVID was a word anyone knew anything about,” Crosby says. “But the pandemic definitely caused increased anxiety, trauma and loss. Everyone experienced some kind of loss, big or small, from losing loved ones to missing personal milestones like birthdays and graduation parties.”
COVID made experiencing mental health symptoms universal, which according to Crosby, had a positive side. “There is still a problem with the stigma surrounding mental illness, but the pandemic has made it much easier to talk about.”
The not-so-good news?
“We think the negative mental health effects of the pandemic will last a decade or longer because of the severe trauma and loss people have gone through,” he says.
Yet another reason Lindner Center of HOPE wants to be at the ready, appropriately staffed and equipped to meet that long-term multifaceted challenge.
National Center of Excellence
Lindner Center of HOPE provides psychiatric hospitalization and partial hospitalization for people ages 12 and older; outpatient services for people of all ages; and diagnostic services and short-term residential services for adults.
The Center is additionally enriched by its partnership with UC Health.
At the Lindner Center of HOPE Research Institute, nationally and internationally acclaimed clinician-scientists team up with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and other leading academic psychiatry research institutions around the country to study genetics, psychopharmacology and psychobiology. Research studies and the mental health advances they lead to are vital to the evidence-based treatment programs Lindner Center of HOPE offers.
Since opening its doors 13 years ago, Lindner Center of HOPE has cared for more than 50,000 patients worldwide. It has earned “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures” recognition from the Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
Also, Lindner Center of HOPE is a charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, a mental health collaborative committed to developing and fostering connections among its members, harnessing its network power to advance scientific discovery, and providing stigma-free, evidence-based care to patients with depressive and bipolar illnesses.
Grateful for Community Support
“We’re a nonprofit with a mission to provide the best mental health care possible,” Crosby says.
There is, of course, a definite gap between the amount Lindner Center of HOPE is reimbursed via insurance for mental health services rendered and the actual cost of providing those services.
That’s why the Transforming HOPE campaign is integral to expanding this world-class mental health care treatment center, located right here in Cincinnati.
“The community’s generosity allows us to do what we do, now and in the future. And we are just so grateful for that,” Crosby says.
Interested in donating to the Lindner Center of HOPE’s “Transforming HOPE” development campaign? Visit lindnercenterofhope.org and click on the “Donate” tab for more information. Lindner Center of HOPE is located at 4075 Old Western Row Road, Cincinnati, OH 45040.