The announcement last week that Monadnock Family Services has entered into a purchase and lease option agreement with Antioch University New England was a promising development for each of those two important local institutions. Both organizations described the deal as a “win-win,” but it’s also very welcome news for Keene and the Monadnock Region.

Under the agreement, MFS has until next Jan. 31 to elect to buy Antioch New England’s building at 40 Avon St. Assuming it does, MFS would likely take ownership by June 30 next year. Antioch, however, would remain in the facility for up to four years under a lease from MFS.

The deal achieves significant goals for each organization. Antioch New England reports it has been experiencing rapid enrollment increases — by 10 percent last year and another 5 percent this year — and the deal gives it time to find and develop a new location to meet its needs. Meanwhile, MFS says it has long been eager to consolidate its mental health services. The Avon Street building will also enable it to add new capabilities such as complementary non-talk therapies and telehealth services and provide for the organization’s growth.

Just as important, both MFS and Antioch New England cited the collaborative opportunities the deal would bring. In the joint press release announcing the agreement, Antioch New England’s CEO Dr. Shawn Fitzgerald expressed excitement for the two working together to provide mental health services to the community. Similarly, MFS CEO Phil Wyzik told The Sentinel he envisions MFS’s “real world work environment may complement [Antioch’s] academic curriculum and their robust academic culture may influence our service delivery.”

What’s particularly noteworthy is the agreement signifies a successful rebound by each organization from recent struggles. In MFS’s case, it has retooled to recover from revenue declines — and in the face of ongoing uncertainty of state support for mental health services. As for Antioch New England, it was only a few years ago that financial pressures caused a major retrenchment by its Ohio-based parent Antioch University that saw the Keene campus president let go and a number of local administrators depart.

Even more concerning in Antioch’s case was that the university also disbanded the local board of trustees here, which served an important role in integrating the Antioch system’s goals with those of the region and provided an important network for community support and communication. The worry was that, as this region has seen in the case of a number of significant businesses, a shift of control of local operations from local hands would lessen local involvement and investment and might call into question the institution’s long-term commitment to Keene.

So, for Keene and the region, the additionally welcome news in the announcement was Antioch’s firm assertion that, in looking for its new home, it is considering facilities only in Keene. With its core programs of environmental studies, psychology and Waldorf-based education and its commitment to social justice and sustainability, the fit between the Keene campus and the Monadnock Region has been ideal. And with its clinical mental health counseling and clinical psychology programs contributing notably to the recent enrollment growth, the synergies flowing from its agreement with MFS will likely further entrench it in the community.

Similarly, MFS has long been a critical component of the region’s social services network, and its importance to southwestern New Hampshire will only grow as the state and nation face up to mental health care challenges generally and in particular those brought on by the ongoing epidemic of opioid and other substance use. Although housing its services in one location is indeed a worthy goal, the downtown Keene location of some of MFS’s services gives it important proximity to other key social services support providers, such as The Doorway addiction services hub, Southwestern Community Services and the Hundred Nights shelter and resource center. We have confidence the benefit of that proximity will be factored in as MFS plans to transition its services to the Avon Street location, as navigating available resources and services is a challenge for those facing serious needs.

Although many details are not yet known about Antioch’s plans for a new campus and MFS’s consolidation and relocation of services, the agreement they announced last week offers each of them — and the region — a brighter future. Call it a “win-win-win.”

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