State senator visits Gerard, puts spotlight on mental health funding

Published 8:11 am Tuesday, January 30, 2018


State Sen. Julie Rosen, R- District 23, visited Gerard Academy in Austin,  on Jan. 10 to tour the campus. She spoke with administrators about Gerard’s mission and the need for additional therapists, residential beds, and community services in the area to treat youth and families.

Currently, there are 89 residential youth living at Gerard Academy, but there is a waitlist.  And the need is not just in Austin; it’s statewide.  Some state residential facilities were closed last year, creating an additional 100-bed deficit for serving youth mental health needs, according to a Gerard news release.

Rosen’s visit spotlighted Gerard’s positive impact on the lives of the children in treatment at the Academy, the release said.

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In 2012, Gerard Academy was awarded Provider of the Year by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The Academy has a 90 percent success rate for youth who have finished treatment under one of their programs.

One reason the Academy is so successful is that staff continue to work hard to address the mental health needs of the surrounding community, the release said.

In 2015, Gerard opened Gerard Community Mental Health Services, an outpatient program located on campus that serves the mental health needs of Austin and the surrounding communities. The outpatient program helps children, teens, adults, and families find and maintain good mental health with a variety of services offered through affordable, quality, efficient, and easily accessible care.

Gerard Academy offers an array of individualized mental health services for boys, girls, teens, adults, and families, including residential treatment, 45-day assessments, short-term program, bridging program, New Dominion School, and the outpatient program Gerard Community Mental Health Services.

Gerard Academy is a member of Nexus, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, headquartered in Plymouth, Minn.