A Lindner Center staff member leads a group at Williams House, an adolescent assessment and treatment unit.

The waiting list for mental health care, even outpatient treatment, can be weeks or even months. So the Lindner Center of Hope in Mason is opening a Rapid Access Clinic designed to get patients into treatment within a day.

“The demand for services far outstrips our supply of providers,” says Dr. Paul E. Keck, Lindner Center president and CEO. “This program is designed to get someone, or their loved one, in to see a psychiatrist and a psychiatric social worker within 24 hours. If we can get them treatment sooner we can prevent hospitalization.”

The Lindner Center, which marked its eighth anniversary in August, isn’t looking to build its own patient census.

“We’re already full,” Keck says, but rather the center wants to connect those looking for help to other mental health providers and primary care physicians. “It’s kind of a hub and spoke model,” he says.

Five of the top 20 disabilities are psychiatric illnesses, Keck says. “It’s mainly due to the lack of access to care, not because there aren’t effective treatments.”

The new clinic is a reflection of the Lindner Center’s approach to mental health care.

“We tried to build this place based on an assessment of what the Greater Cincinnati area needed in the way of unmet mental health care,” he says.

Since opening in August 2008, the Lindner Center, located on 36 wooded acres, has treated 27,000 individuals through both its outpatient and residential services. Williams House offers diagnostic treatment for ages 11 to 17 and Sibcy House for adults 18 and older. The Center has had a partnership with UC Health since 2011 and is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

In response to the growing problem with opiates and other addictions and needing more space to deal with them, the Lindner Center, in June 2015, expanded with Hope Center North, renovating an 8,000-square-foot building on state Route 42 in Mason offering outpatient treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders.

“We decided to expand our addiction services to include not just prevailing services but to focus in a more intensive way on all addictions but especially focus on the opiate problem,” says Keck.

The Lindner Center also has a comprehensive eating disorders program including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, overeating and obesity, and compulsive exercising.

It offers inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a potentially disabling condition affecting both children and adults that can lead to depression, unemployment and even physical problems.

“When I was a resident 32 years ago, there really were no effective treatments for people with OCD,” says Keck. “It can be crippling…a lot of people with OCD are homebound indefinitely. But in the last 30 years we’ve made huge advances to help people with OCD including specific medications and specific forms of psychotherapy” that allow patients to regain fulfilling lives.