New beginnings at South Central
I make it a tradition to start my New Year with a New Year’s Day run. The requirements are only that a minimum of one mile must be completed, and it must be outside despite the weather. There are some years where this is easier than others, due mostly to wind chills, but I find it starts my year off on the right foot, so to speak. I use it as a small break from the week of holiday treats, visitors, eggnog and the over-stimulation of Holiday decorations to be quiet with my thoughts and look forward to the next year in front of me.
This year’s run was welcomed with warm(ish) temps and my mind racing with the opportunities 2023 holds. I was humbled and honored to accept the executive director position at South Central Human Relations Center just after Thanksgiving upon the retirement of Gary Hird. As I’m getting to know this extraordinary agency and its people, I’m overwhelmed with the breadth of services we provide to our community! I’m excited to spend this first year digging deep into the agency, the communities we serve and collaborating with other organizations, but most importantly ensuring that everyone who may be struggling knows about our services.
South Central Human Relations Center is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, which means that we ensure access to coordinated and comprehensive mental health care and/or substance use services, regardless of ability to pay, place of residence, or age. Our team of patient coordinators, case managers, therapists and nurses will work directly with you to access, coordinate and receive the care you need.
We provide age-appropriate child and youth services, including counseling, play therapy and psychiatry services, with immediate openings currently available. We also provide crisis services, treatment planning, outpatient mental health and substance use services, marriage and family therapy, case management, skills work and psychiatric services to people of all ages. Our nursing teams provide hands-on care with your visit to SCHRC, as well as maintain a dedicated nurseline for concerns and questions. They will also coordinate your medication needs either with our onsite pharmacy or the pharmacy of your choice. This is just a small snapshot of the services we offer. No matter which of our services you engage in, our team of providers will ensure you have the access to the care you need.
South Central Human Relations Center first opened its doors in Owatonna in 1964, and we’ve been a steady, reliable mental health resource since then and throughout the COVID pandemic. With the transition to a CCBHC, we are now able to offer our services to everyone, regardless of what city or county you call home. We currently serve clients from the metro, Mankato and Rochester as well as the tri-county area. With offices in Waseca, Owatonna and Kasson, as well as telehealth options, we are a private, non-profit agency that is sure to fit your needs for care.
I’m looking forward to collaborating with our community partners, school districts and regional healthcare agencies to continue to provide our region with a comprehensive pathway to care. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, crisis response is available 24/7 at 844-274-7472.
Michele Merxbauer is the new director of South Central Human Relations with offices in Kasson and Owatonna. Dodge Talkin’ is a regular column featuring authors representing various organizations throughout Dodge County.
Photo: Dodge Talkin’ Michele Merxbauer