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February 17, 2023

New men’s treatment facility will add to mental health services in Frederick County

Credit: Frederick News Post

Mental health care services are expanding across Frederick County over the coming months, with a new men’s residential treatment facility opening in Buckeystown next month and the county’s crisis stabilization center expected to open in late August.

The men’s facility is a new venture from the Orenda Center of Wellness, which currently has an outpatient treatment facility in Frederick and a women’s residential inpatient treatment facility in Sabillasville.

Kelsea Kephart, Orenda’s executive director, said the idea for the men’s facility took root two years ago after witnessing the demand for services at Orenda’s women’s facility.

“There were a lot of questions as to why we hadn’t done anything for men,” Kephart said Thursday in an interview. “We noticed that there was a need for men to also have the same level of treatment that we’re providing to the women.”

The men’s facility, like the women’s, will offer psychiatric care, therapy and counseling for men seeking a safe, long-term place to recover from addiction and mental health-related issues, according to Kephart.

“We try to have a full continuum of care at Orenda,” Kephart said. That way, “once clients get comfortable, they don’t have to go somewhere else.”

Such recovery will take place within a newly renovated campus at {span}3619 Buckeystown Pike,{/span} where the Catoctin Inn once was, with separate buildings for treatment, group activities and meals, and a set of dorm-style rooms for extended stays.

Amidst blustering winds and overcast skies on Friday afternoon, Kephart, the Orenda staff, U.S. Rep. David Trone and community members stood outside the campus for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Trone addressed the crowd first, acknowledging the United States’ historic failures in providing care for people experiencing mental health illness and substance abuse problems and the importance of dedicating federal funds to treatment.

“It’s folks like you guys that are going to help these young men and young women get a second chance,” Trone said. “When you can help someone have a second opportunity, that’s a pretty special thing.”

Afterward, Kephart gave Trone a tour of the campus facilities, first stopping at the clinical offices where patients would receive treatment and counseling, then at one of the eight bedrooms that will be available for residential patients.

The bedroom contained two sets of bunk beds with sage-green covers, a bathroom, night stands, dressers, laundry hampers and a large black-and-white photo of a Texas longhorn.

Kephart said there’s an animal photo in every room.

At the campus’s central building are a cafeteria, recreational rooms and staff offices.

Kephart said the facility will start off with 16 beds, then expand to 32 by mid to late March.

She said the facility will be significant in helping to meet the county’s mental health care needs.

“Frederick County does an excellent job of working together to ensure that we have adequate care for our communities struggling with substance abuse and mental health,” Kephart said.

Elsewhere in the county, at 340 Montevue Lane in Frederick, demolition began Tuesday in preparation of construction for the county’s new crisis stabilization center.

There, the building that used to host board of elections offices will be transformed into the stabilization center by the end of August, according to county project manager Chrysantha Smith.

Trone, who made several stops in Frederick County on Friday, presented a ceremonial check of $698,000 in federal funds for the center’s equipment and furnishings to county officials at the stabilization center on Friday morning.

Trone also visited an infrastructure project by Md. 26 and a final event at Frederick’s Permanent Supportive Housing, Food Distribution Center and Soup Kitchen.