On Monday, December 18th, 2023, Northeastern Center opens its new NEC Cares Program to the local community, currently with limited hours from 7AM to 7PM Monday-Friday, with the program being open on Christmas Day and New Years Day. The NEC Cares Program is located in the new NEC Community Health & Outreach Center and provides short-term, observation and crisis stabilization services in a home-like, non-hospital setting. NEC Cares is designed to enhance the scope and availability of crisis services in NE Indiana and is available to anyone, from anywhere.

While the program is currently running with limited hours, the end goal of the program is to open to a full 24/7 program offering care to anyone for under 24 hours. The program is designed to help those in crisis who may not need hospitalization to receive care and resources to help and meet them where they are at. NEC Cares operates under a ‘No Wrong Door’ philosophy to provide mental health and substance abuse care.

NEC Cares provides walk-in, referral, and drop-off options for receiving care and individuals entering into the program will be assessed for medical stability, suicide risk, substance use crisis, and a violence risk assessment.  These crisis stabilization services are designed to reduce, improve, and prevent a behavioral health crisis and/or reduce acute symptoms.

Nicole Johnson-Smith, Director of the Community Health & Outreach Center & the NEC Cares Program had this to say about the program and its launch: “NEC Cares is designed to provide the continuum of care needed to help stabilize those in crisis and assist in getting the resources needed to maintain that stabilization. Our hope is that this new approach to addressing substance use and mental health needs will alleviate the burden put on law enforcement and focus on the underlying issues to begin to fix the problem instead of just addressing the symptom and/or behavior. I am excited to have a team of individuals with lived experience paying it forward, providing the help and hope that is not always given to those in need.”

Inquiries about the NEC Cares program can be made to the NEC Community Health & Outreach Center at: 260-927-1246, for individuals needing immediate, emergency mental health assistance, the Northeastern Center Emergency Solutions Hotline is available 24/7, 365 Days a year to help those in need. They can be reached at 1-800-790-0118.

Northeastern Center, Inc. has been serving the people of DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble, and Steuben Counties for over 45 years. The agency’s mission is to help individuals achieve emotional and mental wholeness through accessible, affordable, and quality behavioral health services.

NEC Cares Team