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CEFCU donates $500K toward converting former nursing home into UnityPoint youth mental health care facility

220422 Heddington Oaks2.jpg
Hannah Alani
Following its sale to UnityPoint Health Central Illinois, the former Heddington Oaks nursing home in West Peoria will be converted into an inpatient mental health facility.

CEFCU is donating $500,000 to UnityPoint Health (UPH) to fund transformation of the Heddington Oaks nursing home into a center for youth mental health care.

UnityPoint president Mary Sparks Thompson said construction of the Young Minds Institute will begin in late 2023 and will expand the health care agency's bed count dedicated to youth mental health care to 44.

Thompson said the new facility will focus on “mind, body, and spirit” types of healing, and include a physical recreation center as well as employ faculty dedicated to therapy and medication management, expanding UPH’s ability to provide to patients who have experienced trauma and their families.

Matt Mamer, president and CEO of CEFCU, said the decision to donate to the Young Minds Institute was inspired by credit union members. He said the importance of youth mental health hits home for them and they look forward to the benefits that this facility will provide.

The plan to expand the mental health care options at UPH comes in response to an increased need for mental health care for young people. UPH vice president Mike Unes said there has been a rise in the suicide rate among youth and teens in the last few years.

The Young Minds Institute will provide an in-patient program as well as an intensive outpatient program that will allow for around-the-clock care.

UPH representatives hope the facility will promote Peoria as a hub of mental health care and will provide for an underserved demographic in a way that fits into the community.

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Isabela Nieto is a student reporting intern at WCBU. Isabela is also a student at Bradley University in Peoria.