300 Southgate Ave. Iowa City, IA 52240 319.688.8000


A Welcoming Center Offering Urgent Mental Health and Substance Use Care

Our goal is to provide easier access to immediate, onsite assessment and stabilization—outside of a hospital setting—for those 18+ years of age who are experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis.

24/7 Services

GuideLink Center is a community-initiated collaborative led by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. It is designed to offer a welcoming space where experienced staff can deliver 24/7 services, including rapid assessment, triage, stabilization, and follow-up resources. The Center will have beds available for individuals who require stays of up to five days.

Who We Can Help

Our goal is to create an effective alternative for those in need who, until now, may have had no other choice than to go to an emergency room or be sent to a jail. Individuals will be able to walk into our center; be brought in by friends or family members; or be accompanied by law enforcement. You do not have to be a resident of Johnson County. Individuals over 18 years old will be provided care regardless of their ability to pay. Insurance may be billed if available; deductibles and co-pays may apply.

How We Can Help

GuideLink Center’s mission is to provide immediate care for adults facing emotional, mental health, or substance use challenges. We also will work with individuals and their families to provide support as they seek to transition to ongoing, follow-up resources.

Here are just a few of the situations in which an individual, their family, or local law enforcement might contact us for help:

  • People with personal stresses resulting in mental health or substance use crisis
  • An individual who is in the midst of a psychiatric or psychological crisis from a mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts who needs a quick response
  • An adult who is intoxicated and needs a safe place to sober up, but does not need to be in the ER or in jail
  • A mother who is experiencing a postpartum depression crisis and doesn’t know where to go
  • A family member who needs assistance in the middle of the night with an adult who is having a substance use crisis

Please note we are not equipped to handle medical or surgical emergencies, but minor medical first aid will be available, along with a telemedicine connection to UIHC’s emergency department when triage consultation is needed.

GuideLink Center Services

Behavioral Health Crisis Stabilization: Prompt evaluation and treatment for individuals presenting with acute symptoms or distress, including  “crisis stabilization” beds for stays up to 5 days as necessary to restore individuals’ ability to maintain safety and return to the community. These beds allow for a thorough evaluation, initiation of treatment and connection with follow up services.

Sobering Service: A safe place where someone can be closely watched while they withdraw from alcohol or other substances, and includes an opportunity to examine one’s interest or need to become involved in substance use treatment

Detoxification: Provides a safe, medically supervised space for individuals to withdraw from drugs or alcohol and stabilize before engaging in a treatment program

Referrals to Affiliated Partners:

  • Community mental health services
  • Sub-acute stabilization services (beyond 5 day stays)
  • Substance use services
  • Peer support
  • General medical services
  • Housing support
  • Vocational support

Have you or a loved one sought services?

Please consider providing feedback. GuideLink Center would love to hear your experience. 

GuideLink Center logo

Community Leaders

This effort is being led by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors and other key organizations and members of the community who serve on the executive and steering committees.

  • Abbey Ferenzi
    Guidelink Executive Director
  • Dr. Monica Jindal
    Guidelink Medical Director
  • Thad Abrams
    UI/VA Internal Med & Psychiatry (Steering Committee)
  • Ron Berg
    CEO, Prelude Behavioral Services (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Diane Brecht
    VP of Innovation and Clinical Services, AbbeHealth (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Kitty Buckwalter
    Professor Emeritus, UI College of Nursing (Steering Committee)
  • Crissy Canganelli
    Executive Director, Shelter House (Steering Committee)
  • Lance Clemsen
    UIHC Social Work Specialist and Steering Committee Chair (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Rick Dobyns
    UI Family Med & Psychiatry and UI President Project Appointee (Steering Committee)
  • Steve Dolezal
    Chief Deputy, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (Steering Committee)
  • Michael Flaum
    UI Psychiatry (Steering Committee)
  • Cady Gerlach
    Director of Strategic Operations & Resource Management, Shelter House (Steering Committee)
  • Laurie Goodrich
    Coralville City Council (Steering Committee)
  • Elley Gould
    Johnson County Jail Alternatives Administrator (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Lisa Green-Douglass
    Johnson County Supervisor (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Mary Issah
    Executive Director, Johnson County, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) (Steering Committee)
  • Fiona Johnson
    Director, Johnson County Ambulance Service
  • Kathy Johnson
    VP Community Mental Health, AbbeHealth (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Tess Judge-Ellis
    Associate Professor, UI College of Nursing (Steering Committee)
  • Levi Kannedy
    Clinical Department Administrator, UIHC Department of Emergency Medicine (Steering Committee)
  • Geoff Lauer
    Executive Director, Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa (Steering Committee)
  • Janet Lyness
    Johnson County Attorney (Steering Committee)
  • Shelly Mahrry
    Executive Director, Community Foundation of Johnson County (Steering Committee)
  • Matthew Miller
    Project Manager, Johnson County
  • Susan Mims
    Iowa City Council (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Becci Reedus
    Executive Director, CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Jan Shaw
    Director, Johnson County MH/DS, East Central Region (ECR) Coordinator (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Rod Sullivan
    Johnson County Supervisor (Executive and Steering Committee)
  • Stephen Trefz
    LISW (Steering Committee)

Community Partners

We’d like to thank these key partners who have helped GuideLink Center move from a vision to a reality.

  • AbbeHealth
  • Abbe Center for Community Mental Health
  • Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa
  • CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank
  • Community Foundation of Johnson County
  • Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region
  • Iowa City Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care
  • Johnson County Jail Alternatives
  • Law Enforcement/EMS
  • Local Municipalities (Coralville, Hills, Iowa City, North Liberty, Shueyville, Solon, Tiffin, University Heights)
  • Mercy Iowa City
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Johnson County
  • Penn Center
  • Prelude Behavioral Services
  • Shelter House
  • The University of Iowa
  • The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • The University of Iowa College of Nursing
  • Johnson County
    • Attorney’s Office
    • Auditor’s Office
    • Board of Supervisors
    • Facilities
    • Finance
    • Human Resources
    • Information Technology
    • Jail Alternatives
    • Johnson County Ambulance Service
    • Planning and Sustainability
    • Public Health
    • Sheriff’s Office


Our list of partners is continually expanding.

How can I help?

GuideLink Center is managed by UnityPoint Health- AbbeHealth.

Please click below and select “AbbeHealth-GuideLink Center” to make a donation online. You may also contact Abbey Ferenzi, Executive Director, at 319-688-8240 or abbey.ferenzi@unitypoint.org to arrange in-person donations. Thank you! 

Stay Updated

When operational, GuideLink Center will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you would like to receive updates on GuideLink Center, please enter your name and email address below.