MANCHESTER, NH — On the same day President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, one New Hampshire non-profit has opened a new center for treatment, nearly doubling its available services over the course of two years.
Farnum Center, which is part of Easterseals NH, officially opened a new outpatient treatment center in Manchester, easing the space crunch at another facility nearby, and offering more flexible times and programs for families. The center is located at 700 Lake Avenue, and will be home to outpatient services while Farnum’s Queen City Avenue location will continue to focus on inpatient and detox services for clients. Farnum has a separate inpatient and outpatient treatment center in Franklin.
“These group rooms give us flexibility to program sessions early in the morning or later in the evening, and we can reduce the wait list for treatment,” says Kathleen Murphy, Director of Substance Abuse Services at Farnum Center. “This new space also gives us a chance to expand our inpatient facility nearby. This is a reflection of the demand we see in this community and our new center means we can focus more fully on client needs.”
The outpatient center is an extension of Farnum’s mission , and to the community, in that staff will work to resolve child care and work-shift challenges that often prevent people from seeking additional treatment, even though they need it. Over the past two years, Farnum has dramatically expanded service offerings and has doubled its staff to a current level of roughly 160 people.
In celebrating the new treatment center, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas remarked on Farnum’s “Open for All” mission statement, saying “I thank you for being here; I thank you for the work that you do and for the services you provide to everyone who needs them.”
In letters of congratulation, both Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan called the opioid epidemic the “most urgent public health crisis facing New Hampshire,” and went on to praise efforts to expand the treatment pipeline.
“Our response to this crisis must include the presence of community resources like Farnum Center that help people make strong connections with treatment services as well as supportive and empathetic peers,” wrote Senator Shaheen.
“This is an ‘all hands on deck’ moment that requires each of us to work together every single day on a comprehensive strategy to combat this crisis and help save lives,” wrote Senator Hassan.
Farnum Center director, Senior Vice President Cheryl Wilkie, has pledged to work with first responders in and around Manchester to bolster the efforts of Safe Station, the citywide program that allows people to approach any city fire house and ask for treatment, no questions asked. Creator of Safe Station, Chris Hickey, of Manchester’s Fire Department, was on hand for the opening of Farnum’s new center.
“The services we provide at times seem limited, so to have this sudden influx of resources through such a reputable organization is paramount to our success,” Hickey said.
“What sets us apart is our staff,” says Wilkie. “For us to succeed, we must be able to make meaningful and deep connections with our clients. From there, we can show them they have innate health; they have the power within themselves to make changes to improve their lives. We don’t tell people what to do at Farnum, we guide them to their own insights and empower them to lead their own change. All of that requires the right setting to support these people from all walks of life. We are proud to provide that setting in our new facility.”