CEO Message #3

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CEO’s Message # 3
A summary of the core services which the Center will continue to remain committed to for adults with severe and persistent mental illness

The Kent Center for Human and Organizational Development, formerly the Kent County Mental Health Center, though offering many new services, will continue to maintain strong ties to our excellent past. Our mission statement and guiding principles (see Message # 2 in this series) will continue to inform all that we do. Our strong partnerships with our local communities and sister agencies will continue to thrive and be nurtured. We will continue to work hand in hand with the Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals, The Department of Children, Youth and Families, the Department of Human Services, and the Departments of Health, Elderly Affairs, and Corrections to provide behavioral health and consultative services to the people and organizations they have responsibility for.

The Kent Center enjoys affiliations with Kent Hospital and Care New England, Brown University School of Medicine, and The University of Rhode Island, among others. We have strong collaborative relationships with Butler Hospital, Spurwink Rhode Island, Harmony Hill School, Family Services, Child Inc., Westbay Community Action, Elizabeth Buffum Chace House, the YMCA, The Providence Center, Gateway Healthcare, East Bay Mental Health Center, Newport Mental Health Center, South Shore Mental Health Center, NRI Community Services and Riverwood Rehabilitation Services, among many others. The Kent Center will ensure that these relationships continue to prosper and we will expand our collaborations to others.

The Board of Directors of The Kent Center also wants to be very clear that the new name reflecting agency growth, does not at all distract us from our original purpose, which was to provide an array of high quality, community based programs for person who are living with severe and persistent mental illness. These illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bi-polar illness and major depression, are illnesses that affect a vital organ of the body, the brain. These illnesses, which are not caused by bad parenting or character flaws and are not contagious, anymore than diabetes is, effect from 5 to 11 % of the population.  Schizophrenia effects about 1% of the population, with other major mental illness accounting for the other 4 to 10%. This means that there are about 10,000 people who suffer from schizophrenia in Rhode Island and many more (100,000+) who suffer from some other form of serious illness, such as depression.

The Kent Center offers an array of Community Support Services for Rhode Islanders who are living with the challenges which having a severe mental illness presents, or for those who have a loved one with an illness. Services such as assessment, education about the illnesses and how to treat them (treatment is often very successful), housing, (the Kent Center is a Housing Authority), case management, medication and medical services, specific services for the elderly, Hillsgrove House which provides social and vocational services, Mobil Treatment Teams that reach out into the community, Compeer (which builds friendships and relationships) and 24 hour emergency services will continue to be offered by the Kent Center for all who may need them. Our commitment to our system of support and treatment for those with severe and persistent mental illness, for which we have been recognized nationally, will not waver under The Kent Center.