Hopewell: A therapeutic farm community

Mental illness plagues one in five Americans, many of whom go untreated because of the high costs and limited availability of effective treatment options. When treatment is offered, its duration is often too short and its nature dehumanizing making recovery unlikely and relapses commonplace. On February 3, 1996 in the heart of Amish country in NE Ohio, a 300-acre therapeutic farm community named Hopewell took its 1st resident. A place where adults age 18 and older who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other mental health disorders are welcomed, Hopewell is a vibrant healing community where staff and residents work side-by-side caring for the animals and crops and sit side-by-side at meals. Without fencing, lockdown facilities or restraints, Hopewell humanizes the mental health treatment process with documented positive outcomes. Hear about Ohio’s mental health gem.

Clara Taplin Rankin is the founder of Hopewell. When other treatments for a family member failed, Mrs. Rankin engaged 100-yr- old Gould Farm in Massachusetts, where her family member thrived. Passionate about the treatment and dedicated to NE Ohio, Mrs. Rankin founded Hopewell in 1993. February 3, 2016 marks 20 years since Hopewell’s 1st admission. Mrs. Rankin continues to be active on Hopewell’s Board of Directors with 100 percent attendance. Mrs. Rankin, mother of 5 sons, has served on the Boards of the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Junior League, Apollo’s Fire and the Shaker Lakes Garden Club. A 1938 graduate of Smith College, she is active in the Cleveland Smith Club. She has received the highest awards from the YWCA, NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) and the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, which awarded her its 1st Founder’s Award in 2014.