Mental health crises center planned for mid-2023
SpectraCare announced on Tuesday that its new crises center will focus on immediate assistance to those suffering from mental issues.
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - SpectraCare announced on Tuesday that its new crises center should be operational by summer and will focus on immediate assistance to those suffering from mental issues.
“Many times, they call, and doors are not open,” is how SpectraCare CEO Melissa Kirkland describes the current care situation.
Frequently, when first responders encounter those suffering issues, they have no choice but to take them to emergency rooms or jail.
The new SpectraCare Crises Diversion Center will provide initial help, usually keeping patients less than 24 hours then releasing them to appropriate long-term care.
It will become one of six centers in Alabama.
The cost of the facility is $9.4 million, with the state of Alabama paying much of that cost.
Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) led the effort to work out funding during this year’s legislative session.
He thanked fellow lawmakers Paul Lee, Donnie Chesteen, and Jeff Sorrells for their support.
“The delegation worked hard to secure the funding for the operations of putting this facility in place,” Clouse said. “Then through additional capital support for facility acquisition and renovations, the city, county, and business community came together for this new home.
The city of Dothan chipped in nearly a million dollars, using money accumulated in its pretrial diversion fund.
Here is the announcement from Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce:
Melissa Kirkland, SpectraCare Health SystemsInc. CEO announced today SpectraCare has received $7 million in funding from Gov. Kay Ivey, the Alabama State Legislature and the Alabama Department of Mental Health to operate one of six behavioral health crisis centers in the state. The new SpectraCare Crisis Diversion Center will be located at 2740 Headland Ave. and anticipated opening will be May 2023. The project represents a $9.4millioninvestment and will add another 160 employees to support this operation.
Kirkland stated that due to the additional financial support of the city of Dothan Houston County Commission and the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, the Crisis Center will be located in Dothan.”We are excited to add this much needed crisis center to SpectraCare’s current continuum of care. A project of this scope would not be possible without support from the state and the communities we serve. The decision made by our state, city and county leaders to fund crisis centers will make a difference for many years to come.”
Kirkland explained individuals experiencing an acute mental health or substance use crisis often end up in an emergency room or jail. SpectraCare’s Crisis Center will offer the community no-wrong-door access to mental health and substance use care operating like a hospital emergency department except with emphasis on behavioral healthcare rather than physical healthcare.
The Crisis Diversion Center will be a designated place for community members, law enforcement and first responders to take an individual who is in mental health crisis. The center will offer critical crisis intervention and stabilization services to include triage and observation, short-term admission, psychiatric services, medication management and case management. Discharge planning and connections to ongoing behavioral health care services in the community will also be a provided service to assist in a more successful rate of recovery.
State Rep. Steve Clouse said, “The creation of the SpectraCare Crisis Diversion Center in the Dothan-Houston County area was a collaborative effort between the Department of Mental Health and the Wiregrass Legislative delegation in coming to a decision the facility would happen. The delegation worked hard to secure the funding for the operations of putting this facility in place. Then through additional capital support for facility acquisition and renovations, the city, county and business community came together for this new home. The Crisis Diversion Center will benefit law enforcement, medical personnel and families throughout the Wiregrass region in dealing with the adversities of mental illness.”
In a joint statement, Mayor Mark Saliba and Chairman Brandon Shoupe said, “This is a very important project in our region as we will be one of six diversion centers in Alabama. This will support our law enforcement community, our medical community and the many families that will be helped with this new center. We appreciate the work of Gov. Ivey, Alabama’s Mental Health director and staff, our outstanding legislative delegation, and the support of our commissions in supporting this major development.”
SpectraCare has been answering the call for help in the Wiregrass for over 50 years. The cries for help are made at all times of the day and night, from all parts of area communities, made by those who are suffering and the families suffering along with them.Calls such as “I don’t want to feel this way anymore, I cry all the time and all I want to do is sleep, it’s just not worth it,””I can’t catch my breath and the walls are closing in on me,” “My husband is going to die if he doesn’t stop using drugs,” and “My child is out of control, I don’t know what to do.”The reasons may vary, but the plea is the same-Help Me!
SpectraCare provides mental health, substance use and developmental disability services in Barbour, Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties. With over 400 employees and 39 locations, SpectraCare is the largest behavioral healthcare provider in southeast Alabama. For more information about accessing care, call (800) 951-HELP (4357).Or for more information about the Diversion Center, contact Kirkland at (334) 712-2720.
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