Family Access Center of Excellence opens for health intervention services

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COLUMBIA - The Family Access Center of Excellence, or FACE, cut the ribbon for its grand opening Monday morning at 105 East Ash Street.

The resource center is set to serve the mental health and behavioral needs of young people to age 19. 

Erin Reynolds, executive director of the Family Access Center of Excellence of Boone County, said FACE will be the single point of entry for families and young people, where an extensive assessment will be made to help link the families to the appropriate services.

Reynold said FACE is "meant to bridge those barriers of disorganization and lack of access that families encounter when they are looking for services in the community.

Reynolds said the number of young people who suffer from behavioral and mental issues is 25-33 percent.

"When we start thinking about those numbers, maybe it's a lot more than we ever thought it really was," she said.

A prevention and treatment engagement specialist at Phoenix Health Programs, Heather Harlan, said "Fifty percent of people who will grow up to have persistent disability and health issues are going to be experiencing symptoms by the age of 14."

The process opening the location started in 2012 when funding was provided by the Children's Services Fund. The amount was $4.1 million over a period of three years for FACE.

Reynolds said the difference between other agencies and FACE is that other agencies "just haven't been able to do that wrap around piece and work long term with families."