About Us
Funding Partners

A number of organizations are funding partners in this project. Partners in providing the information when you need it include....

  • Family and Children First Councils
    in Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Williams counties
  • Four County ADAMhs Board
  • Northwest Ohio One Stop
  • United Ways of Northwest Ohio
  • Women & Family Services

A United Way  agency

Four Co. ADAMhs Board Logo


Click here for a partial listing of the free services available to anyone who needs it.

Highlights of First Call For Help's History & Growth

1984 First Call For Help (FCFH) opened February 6, 1984 as an Information and Referral (I&R) service for Henry County, funded by the United Way of Henry County and housed in their office. Jean Small was the agency's first Director, and the agency's budget was $8,200.

1985 I&R service house were expanded, with staffing by trained volunteers. Funding was made available through the Four County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental health services (ADAMhs) Board to answer mental health crisis calls.

1986 I&R services continued to grow. Part-time paid staff answered FCFH's hotline. The budget had grown to $72,000.

1987 FCFH was incorporated as a non-profit agency with its own Board of Trustees. Twenty-four hour mental health hotline was now available to anyone in Defiance, Fulton, Henry, and Williams counties. Office was located at 2296 N. Scott Street. Directors: Nancy Parks/Jeanne Gorsuch/Dorothy Dean.

1988 Part-time mental health professionals were available on call to respond to people who were experiencing psychiatric emergencies. Teen line was begun, operated by area teenagers assisting peers. I&R services continued with United Way funding. Dorothy Dean continued as director.

1989 Full-time and on-call mental health professionals met with community residents who were in crisis. FCFH provided home-based stabilization services and Pre-hospitalization screenings in accordance with the new Mental Health Law. The agency's budget was $ 189,000.

1990 "Hope House," a five-bed treatment facility, was opened at Yokefellow House in Evansport, Ohio. Administrative offices moved to present location at 1330-A N. Scott Street.

1991 The "Residential Treatment Program" opened in Napoleon on February 22, 1991, to provide 24-hour psychiatric services for adults with severe mental illness and others in crisis. The budget increased to $388,000. FCFH became certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH).

1992 FCFH experienced growing pains as the need for professional mental health emergency services increased, resulting in many changes including 24-hour nursing services and increased physician time for the five-bed unit. Computerization of I&R services was initiated. Increased services resulted in a budget of $768,000.

1993 The name of the five-bed unit was changed to "Crisis Stabilization Unit," (CSU)with increased emphasis upon diverting persons with mental illness from placement in more restrictive treatment. Child and adolescent emergency services were added. The I&R Specialist position was created. Joetta Prost, Ph.D. became Director of FCFH.

1994 Additional social workers and registered nurses were hired to work full time "around the clock" providing mental health assessments in the community. Persons served by FCFH ranged from age 4 to 94, for a total of 1265 assessments and 200 admissions to the CSU in fiscal year 1994. Psychiatric and nursing consultation services were begun for Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio and Four County Family Center. The Quality Improvement program was expanded to a full time position. Total agency budget was $954,235. Reverend Tom Shane was the guest speaker at the dinner celebrating FCFH's tenth anniversary.

1995 Application was submitted by First Call For Help (in coordination with New Home Development Company, Maumee Valley Guidance Center, and Four County ADAMhs Board) for "Horizon Apartments," an innovative independent apartment project which would provide 24-hour onsite support for ten persons with mental illness. With a grant from Henry County United Way, the I&R program was improved by installing, "IRIS" software; the resulting database contains nearly 1,000 resources. The annual dinner speaker was Brandon Fitch, who shared about his experiences coping with schizophrenia.

1996 90 Law enforcement personnel in the four county area received mental health training. Computerization improvements were made within the agency. Ground-breaking for Horizon Apartments was held. Budget for fiscal year 1996 was $ 1,226,000, with a staff of 40. Screeners logged over 40,000 miles providing 1300 assessments at 95 locations in Northwest Ohio. The annual dinner speaker was Susan White-Bowden, who shared about coping with her son's suicide.

1997 Horizon Apartments is finally a reality; the 10 apartments for clients with mental illness were ready in June. The residents live independently with support from staff of FCFH who are on site 24-hours a day. Jeanette Adkins, NOVA, Crisis Response Team, was our guest speaker for the annual dinner.

1998 FCFH is on the Internet. Our website can be accessed at www.firstcallnwo.org. We are continuing to bring people and services together in Northwest Ohio. The Information and Referral (I&R) database has approximately 2,500 resources with the addition of 3 new counties. We currently provide I&R services to Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Williams counties. ODMH completed recertification of FCFH. Budget for fiscal year 1998 is $1.3 million with a staff of approximately 50. Kendall Alexander, LISW became director of FCFH. Dr. Jane Ammons became new medical director.

1999Teen Line was established in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies and local area schools. Hotline and I & R services expanded to include Logan/Champaign Counties. Outpatient psychiatric services expanded and FCFH contracted with a number of Nursing/Group Homes to provided psychiatric services. In collaboration with 5 County Alcohol/Drug Program, FCFH began offering outpatient dual-diagnosis services in Defiance. First Call For Help celebrated its 15th year anniversary with its first Annual Fund Campaign. Budget for FY 1999 was $1.6 million, with a staff of approximately 65.

2000 Horizon Apartments received the Governors Award for Excellence. First Call For Help joined the Ohio 211 Collaborative to provide a universal number for I & R in Ohio. The Family Connections of NWO was formed as a collaborative of local I & R agencies and Family and Children First Councils. The Regional Hub allows for better access to social service agencies within the community. Hotline services expanded to include Union County.

First Call for Help NWO
600 Freedom Dr.
Napoleon, OH 43545
Phone (419) 599-1660
Fax (419) 592-8336
Toll-Free Hotline 1-800-468-4357



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