In early August, I was thrilled to take part in the ribbon cutting for RI International recovery response center near Newark, a facility that will provide clients with a first step to recovery when they’re experiencing a substance abuse or mental health crisis.
The Newark Post reported that the center, which can accommodate 16 people at a time, operates on what CEO David Covington calls a “living room model.” The main area of the clinic looks much like a living room, with cushy chairs arranged in clusters and a television set and computers available for use. Private rooms contain recliners, not beds.
Clients – who center officials refer to as “guests” instead of “patients” – can check themselves in, be referred there by medical professionals or be dropped by police officers. The center keeps people for up to 23 hours of observation before on-duty psychologists, nurses and peer specialists determine the best next course of action.