ST. CLOUD (WJON News) - The CentraCare Foundation is celebrating the success of its mental health care campaign.

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Over the last year, the Lighting The Path campaign has received more than $6 million in donations from community members, businesses, and CentraCare employees. This far exceeds the goal of $4.4 million.

Ryan Engdahl is the Vice President of Ambulatory Care for CentraCare.

The tremendous show of support for these projects will have a significant impact on the services that we are able to provide in the communities we serve. The impact of this campaign will continue to be felt for years to come. We are thankful to everyone who helped contribute to its success.

The campaign’s success will fund new projects:

  • The donations will be used to expand Clara’s House to serve patients aged two to five. Officials with CentraCare say the expansion will make Clara’s House the first of its kind partial hospitalization program in the Midwest.
  • CentraCare will hire a second Suicide Prevention Coordinator and provide more programming for suicide prevention,
  • St. Cloud Hospital will add space to the hospital’s “EmPATH” unit, the emergency mental health center. The unit allows mental health emergencies to be taken out of the emergency room and into a new “living-room-type” setting for patients to resolve the crisis and return to their lives with the least amount of disruption possible.

Officials with CentraCare say mental health emergencies are the sixth most common reason for a trip to the emergency room; more than 4,000 patients per year visit the “EmPATH” unit at St. Cloud Hospital.

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