Officials broke ground on a new primary mental health facility in Hoover Wednesday and are planning to begin construction on a Madison County facility before the end of the year.
The new facility, Longleaf Wellness Center, will be a partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient program with a capacity of 60 clients. The facility will be located next to Birmingham Recovery Center in the International Park off Acton Road.
Birmingham Recovery Center, an outpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment program, opened its doors summer 2021 and quickly identified additional need for outpatient mental wellness services.
“Mental health and substance use disorder treatment options have been extremely limited in our state for far too long,” said Thomas Harris, chairman of the Birmingham Recovery Center. “Longleaf will be an integral part in increasing availability and accessibility of treatment resources across Alabama, something my family and I are very passionate about.”
Colin Harris, managing director of Birmingham Recovery Center, and son of Thomas Harris, helped establish the center based on his personal experience with addiction. Colin Harris said he addition of Longleaf Wellness Center expands his mission to make high-quality treatment accessible to all Alabamians by bringing much-needed outpatient mental health services to the area.
According to Mental Health America’s 2022 State of Mental Health In America, Alabama ranked 50th out of 51 states on access ranking, which indicates how much access to mental healthcare exists within a state. Alabama dropped nine spots in the overall ranking, from 36th in 2021 to 45th in 2022.
“Given what we know about substance use disorder and mental health, it is vital that we break down barriers to treatment,” said Ian Henyon, executive director of Birmingham Recovery Center. “We don’t want any patients to feel there are no options. Longleaf is providing patients with even more opportunity to receive the help they need.”
Longleaf will make critical intensive substance use disorder treatment more accessible to Alabamians battling addiction through strategic expansion, starting in Madison. Like Birmingham, the Huntsville-area location will provide substance abuse recovery treatment while also serving as a substance abuse recovery resource for the community. Longleaf Recovery Center – Madison will host support groups and retreats and provide meeting space for those with a vested interest in recovery support. The outpatient treatment center will be built near Toyota Field, Madison’s minor league baseball stadium.
A groundbreaking for the Madison project is tentatively slated for this fall and construction on both sites is set to begin before the end of the year.
“I applaud Longleaf’s commitment to expansion of treatment services throughout our state,” said State Department of Mental Health Commissioner Kim Boswell. “Those needing mental health and substance use disorder treatment will now have more choices to receive the care they need thanks to expansion of projects such as this, that increase access to care.”
As a partner in Longleaf, LIV Ventures will be responsible for the development of Longleaf Wellness Center in Hoover, as well as future projects throughout the state.
“We are honored to play a role in expanding access to mental health and addiction treatment services in Alabama,” said Robb Crumpton, LIV’s chief executive officer. “Our company is intentional in investing in projects that make life better for people and their communities. We want our work to generate a higher return on life, and we’re confident many people and families will benefit from these additional facilities and services.”