Mental Health Crisis Center coming to Houston County

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:19 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced the funding of a mental health crisis center in Houston County, further expanding the Alabama Crisis System of Care.

The two new centers add to the four existing centers in Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile, currently serving individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders at staged levels of care. The fiscal year 2023 awarded Community Mental Health Centers are Indian Rivers Behavioral Health in Tuscaloosa County and SpectraCare Health Systems in Houston County.

“The state of Alabama is proud to continue doing its part to offer top notch crisis care to people in need,” said Governor Ivey. “During my time as governor, I’ve placed a renewed focus on finding innovative ways to support Alabamians that find themselves battling mental health issues, and I have no doubt that these two new facilities are going change lives for the better.”

The two newly awarded centers in Tuscaloosa County (Region 2 – Tuscaloosa) and Houston County (Region 4 – Dothan) will serve large populations in the regions, with additional special populations, including veterans and young adults. The current crisis centers are located at AltaPointe Health in Mobile, WellStone in Huntsville, the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority in Montgomery and the Jefferson, Blount, St. Clair (JBS) Mental Health Authority in Birmingham.

“We are committed to ensuring all Alabamians have someone to call, someone to respond, and if needed, someplace to go in times of crisis,” said Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Kim Boswell. “We are thankful for Governor Ivey’s leadership and the Legislature’s continued investment in our state’s crisis system of care, expanding access to even more individuals and their families.”

Mental Health Crisis Centers are a designated place for community members, law enforcement, and first responders to take an individual who is in mental health crisis. The centers offer both walk-in access and the capacity for first responders and law enforcement to transfer individuals to the center for crisis care for a warm hand-off to staff, short-term admission, medication management and case management. Services also include critical crisis intervention and stabilization services, discharge planning and connections to ongoing behavioral health care services, if needed.

As part of the first major investment in state mental health services since Governor Lurleen Wallace’s administration, Governor Ivey has prioritized establishing a mental health crisis continuum of care, with efforts in the Alabama Legislature led by House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter. The initial three Crisis Centers were funded with an $18 million appropriation in the FY2021 General Fund budget, with continued funding appropriated in the FY2022 and FY2023 General Fund budgets to support the existing Crisis Centers and add new Crisis Centers across the state.

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