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A History of Rescue

Rescue Mental Health & Addiction Services was founded in 1966 by members of the Lucas County religious and social services communities to meet the need for a 24-hour hotline for those experiencing an emotional crisis. Father Frank Crawford is regarded as Rescue’s founder and served as the first volunteer to staff the hotline.

During 1980 and 1981, the United Way and the Lucas County Mental Health Board identified the need for comprehensive and centralized emergency services for the severely mentally disabled, understanding that this population desperately needed not only emergency services but substantial resources as well.

In 1982, Rescue was designated as the focal point of the centralized emergency services, providing a hotline, short-term crisis counseling services, and a six-bed crisis support unit.

In 1983, the Lucas County Mental Health Board selected Rescue as the single point of entry into the mental health system for all mental health emergencies. That included responding to the needs of the criminal justice system, which found itself overburdened with helping the disenfranchised mentally ill.

In 1985, Rescue received a federal block grant from the Ohio Department of Mental Health, and in January 1986, began operating as a comprehensive emergency mental health service provider for Lucas County. Rescue provided pre-hospitalization screening and assessment and Crisis Services.

In January 1997, Rescue began providing crisis intervention, diagnostic assessment, individual and group counseling, pharmacological management, and residential crisis stabilization to children and adolescents.

In 2006, Rescue introduced two new programs:

  • Central Access—a central point for assessment and referral to ongoing community mental health services.
  • Community Based Stabilization program—assisted clients in avoiding hospitalization and maintaining stability in home settings. Community Based Stabilization staff members were licensed professionals, nurses, and peer staff with personal histories of mental illness.

The Central Access and the Community Based Stabilization programs merged to form the Emergency Crisis Services program, which served as a central intake providing crisis screening, referrals to outpatient care or hospitals, and linkage to community resources. Emergency Crisis Services also provided observational emergency services.

In January 2016, Rescue began its Recovery Helpline and Behavioral Health Urgent Care programs. The Recovery Helpline provided callers with referrals and linkage to community resources, network providers, urgent services, and emergency crisis referrals. The Behavioral Health Urgent Care program provided same-day access to a healthcare provider and licensed clinician for medication evaluation and management.

In 2018, with a grant from the Lucas County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board, Rescue began providing Mobile Response & Stabilization Services (MRSS) designed to keep kids in their homes, in school, out of the juvenile justice system, or emergency rooms. MRSS staff would respond when a family identified their child (ages 0-21) was in crisis. Like Rescue’s Emergency Services, MRSS provided crisis assessment, stabilization, linkage & referral, and skill development with up to six weeks of follow-up case management for the whole family.

In 2019, Rescue began another diversion program, the Solution Center for Lucas County law enforcement. The Solution Center was an alternative to arresting non-violent offenders when there was an apparent mental health condition contributing to the delinquency. This diversion program provided the mental health care necessary before—and in some cases instead of—incarceration and was available to all law enforcement within Lucas County.

In 2020, Rescue joined forces with the Lucas County Sheriff’s office—DART unit, the University of Toledo, and other service providers to assist in outreach to chronic runaways in Lucas County and engage them in services that would keep them in their homes and school.