Cummins Behavioral Health’s 50th Anniversary

In 2022, Cummins Behavioral Health turned 50 years old.

For half a century, our organization has been open and serving the residents of central Indiana. Throughout this time, our goal has always been to advocate for mental health and wellness in our communities, to pursue clinical best practices in all areas of care, and to help the individuals we serve experience the hope of recovery.

We are deeply honored to have passed this special milestone in our organization’s history! We believe it stands as testament that our community members find value in the services we provide for them. We have always strived to expand and develop our services according to the needs of our communities and the latest advancements in psychological science.

In commemoration of our 50th anniversary, we’d like to look back at how Cummins Behavioral Health began and how our organization reached the point where it is today. At every step along the way, the credit for Cummins’ success has belonged to forward-thinking, driven individuals with a passion for serving their communities and a desire to help persons living with mental illness.

From Humble Beginnings

The story of Cummins began in 1963, when the federal government passed legislation to develop community-based mental health centers in each state as an alternative to psychiatric hospitals. In the years that followed, a small group of community members in Hendricks and Putnam Counties laid the groundwork for the organization that would become Cummins Behavioral Health.

One of these individuals was Thelma Cummins, who filled several important leadership roles in the early days of the organization. Even though Thelma passed away in early 1974, mere months before our organization officially opened its doors to the public, she left a legacy at Cummins. Our organization bears her name to honor that legacy.

To learn more about the early days of Cummins and the people who founded it, we spoke with Thelma Cummins’ daughter, Mary Cummins, and Mary’s son, Pete Lynch. Both Mary and Pete have served on Cummins’ Board of Directors, with almost 30 years of Board membership between them.

You can click below to read the full story behind the birth of Cummins.

From Humble Beginnings: Celebrating 50 Years of Cummins Behavioral Health Systems

“Ultimately, it came down to a group of people that saw a need that was not being met at a time where behavioral health was not a very popular thing to be talking about.”

Pete Lynch, Cummins Board Member and Grandson of Thelma Cummins

Driven by Passionate People

Cummins Behavioral Health is built on the legacy of the dedicated people who founded it, but its continued success is due to the dedication of its staff. Just as we would not be where we are today without Thelma Cummins and our other founders, neither would we be here without the commitment and integrity of our hundreds of talented team members.

From 1972 through today, the people in our organization have always been what makes it great. They are the visionaries who see the way forward and the change agents who make the vision a reality.

In the two videos below, Board Member Pete Lynch and CEO Amy Mace speak on why people are always at the heart of Cummins Behavioral Health—then, now, and moving into the future.

“As long as there is stigma, as long as there are mental health needs, Cummins needs to continue on. We will continue to work to fulfill the vision and mission of our founders.”

Amy Mace, CEO

On behalf of all of us at Cummins, we would like to thank you, our community members, for a truly extraordinary 50 years.

We are honored to have served you, and to continue to serve you, as we look ahead to the next 50 years of our organization.

If you would like to read more about Cummins Behavioral Health, we invite you to visit our Mission & Vision page or learn about the full range of services we provide. You can also visit our blog for news from our organization and in-depth explanations on choice therapeutic topics.

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