A History of Hope.
Not so long ago, the mentally ill were ostracized from their communities and institutionalized in huge state hospitals, including one in Toledo, Ohio, where they were left alone to cope with the delusions their mental illnesses caused.
With the development of psychotropic medications in the 1960’s, physicians were able to help treat the delusions and hallucinations and give their patients some relief from their symptoms.
Seeing these positive changes, families began championing legislation that gave more legal rights to the mentally ill and encouraged their transfer from hospitals back to their communities.
Funding for the state hospitals was redirected to local communities and community health centers were opened.
In Toledo, two of those centers were the Ruth S. Ide Center and the East Center for Community Mental Health.
The Ruth S. Ide Center, established in 1972, was formed by the Citizens for Mental Health and Mental Retardation to serve the mentally ill living within the central city. The center, named in honor of Mrs. Ruth Street Ide who was active in mental health service development, served the needs of individuals with severe and persistent mentally illness. Twenty staff members provided psychiatric evaluation, psychosocial rehabilitation, case management, medical and residential services to clients.
The East Center for Community Mental Health, established in 1974, was formed by an advisory committee of leaders from local schools, hospitals, churches and community organizations. It was the first community mental health agency in eastern Lucas County, and with a focus on serving the outpatient mental health needs of children, adolescents, adults and older adults, the East Center and its staff of 15 quickly became a trusted neighbor on the East Side.
In 1995, the Ruth S. Ide Center and The East Center of Community Mental Health merged to form Unison Health. Today, we serve more than 6,000 adults and children every year, creating hope through wellness, prevention and recovery by providing superior integrated healthcare.
In addition, we own and operate two apartments that house the severely and persistently mentally ill, and we oversee 18 apartments in a LMHA complex that allow us to make sure clients can manage the upkeep of their home and have adequate skills for daily living.
As a not-for-profit organization, we’re dedicated to providing behavioral health care and alcohol and drug treatment services that are accessible and affordable. We are funded by the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County. In addition, we are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and certified by both the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and the Ohio Department of Mental Health.