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Community center to become home for free mental health resources

Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 5:51 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Advocates say saving lives depend on mental health resources to help, yet often, finances can stop that from happening.

The papers clipped together on Christian Frazier’s desk show the writings on the wall.

“We’ve revived seven people in the last 7 days,” he said.

That’s where these walls come into play. The former Friendship Community Center will be transformed into a recovery and wellness facility.

“Meeting people where they are at, asking them what they need, believing them when they say it, then coming up with solutions,” Frazier said.

His organization, Focus on Recovery, is just one of the many local mental health groups in support of this new project.

“People’s lives, people’s quality of life depends totally on access to resources,” Roslind Hayes with the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network said.

The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network is spearheading the project, but they say, it is going to take a collective effort since resources will be free to the public.

“Going into Augusta without any state funding, we will definitely be relying on the good will of the community,” Hayes said.

There’s also $90 million less in state funding for behavioral health programs. The local Opioid Taskforce also reported that COVID-19 created a rise in depression and addiction struggles like tripling local overdoses while leaving a void in human connection. The old property on Central Avenue could come at no better time.

“To be given some hope that we can get through this. We can get through this together,” Hayes said.

They are still waiting to decide on an opening date and finalizing plans for the project.

Though millions were cut in state funding for 2021, the Georgia Health Network plans to fight for extra funding the following year, for more projects like this one.

If you need to access help now, here are some resources available:

  • Dial 211 in Augusta. This is 24 hours, 7 days a week, help hotline.
  • Dial 888-945-1414 to access the “warm line.” This line will allow you to talk with people who are dealing with similar struggles.
  • Dial 800-715-4225 to access the Georgia Crisis hotline, 24 hours, 7 days a week,
  • Dial 706-945-0290 to access Focus on Recovery. You can also text it if you feel more comfortable that way.

Access more information about the Free Mental Health Clinic on Facebook.

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