Richard G. Hatcher and the Gary Common Council decided that their city deserved their own community mental health clinic. A 60-member board assembled to address the lack of quality mental health care in Gary. This group, under the leadership of Barbara Leek-Wesson and Rose Keeton, created the Health Taskforce and established a planning site at 1200 Broadway. After years of work, awareness raising, and fundraising, their hard work was rewarded.
Gary Community Mental Health Center was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1974.
The doors of 1100 W. 6th Avenue officially opened in June 1980. The center immediately began to provide a full range of services that included 24-hour care, partial hospitalization services, outpatient services, consultation, education services, community support services, and residential services at other locations in the city.
The name of Gary Community Mental Health Center, Inc. was changed to Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living, Inc.
The Ambassadors for Edgewater program was created for individuals seeking to support the mission of Edgewater Systems. Ambassadors for Edgewater raise private, philanthropic support for Edgewater Systems, its programs and services, and assure the continuation and delivery of the highest quality behavioral healthcare services that the community deserves.
Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living responded to major community need and developed South Shore Commons, a 60-unit, service-enriched housing complex. Residents would include homeless persons with disabilities, homeless families, and extremely low-income individuals and families at risk of homelessness. In addition to the housing units, the facility includes common spaces used for on-site service programs for residents, including mental health care, service coordination and case management.
On April 1 2014, Edgewater began doing business as Edgewater Behavioral Health Services (EBHS).
Responding to another major community need, Edgewater Behavioral Health Services developed the Rapid Access Center (RAC), the only one of its kind in all of Indiana. The program provides immediate response to self-admitting adults experiencing a psychiatric crisis that may include severe psychosis or depression, intrusive behaviors, and/or extreme thoughts of suicide or harm to others. The program also provides services to individuals experiencing comorbid substance use or abuse issues. The program focuses on hospital and jail diversion and is a collaboration of community representatives from the area hospitals, law enforcement, emergency medical service personnel, and community providers. The center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The center has two distinct programs: Immediate Psychiatric Care Clinic and the Short-term Crisis Residential Unit.
Recognizing the connection between healthy mind and healthy body, Edgewater Systems announced the launch of its new primary care facilities.