Friday, May 21, 2021

Adult Mental Health Crisis Center Slated to Open Next Year

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2021 at 4:18 PM

A new program for adults facing mental heath crises is expected to be up and running next year after the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors approved the  Department of Health and Human Services' request to establish and run a sub-acute facility earlier this month.

Round-the-clock care will be provided at the center, with the aim of preventing the need for an individual's placement in the county's locked psychiatric facility at Sempervirens as well as to provide a place to go for those who have just been released from Sempervirens.

“Crisis residential is a transitional-housing format where people can stay an average of 30-45 days, and mental health staff is on-site 24 hours a day to provide treatment and administer medication,” DHHS Behavioral Health Branch Director Jack Breazeal said in a release.

The site of the facility that will be run by Willow Glen Care Center is still being decided. According to the May 11 meeting agenda, the total cost of the county's professional services agreement with Willow Glen "will not exceed $1,168,209.05 for a period of 1 year from the date of execution."

“I think the benefit will be more comprehensive treatment for people who are in a mental health crisis,” Breazeal said. “It allows for longer-term treatment for individuals. It will help prevent people from going into full-blown crisis or help them reintegrate into the community.”


Read the county's release below:
Early this month, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors approved the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services’ (DHHS’s) request to allocate funding to establish and run a sub-acute transitional facility for adults experiencing mental health crises.

DHHS Behavioral Health Deputy Branch Director Jack Breazeal said the facility will be for people who need round-the-clock services to prevent admission into Sempervirens (SV), the county’s locked psychiatric facility, or people who need an intermediary place to go directly after being discharged from SV. “Crisis residential is a transitional-housing format where people can stay an average of 30-45 days, and mental health staff is on-site 24 hours a day to provide treatment and administer medication,” he said.

The idea for the facility came out of Mental Health Services Act stakeholder meetings over the past couple years, and Willow Glen Care Center was ultimately selected to run the facility. Jeff Payne, the Executive Director of Willow Glen, said his organization has partnered with Humboldt County since 1996, both providing and coordinating long- and short-term residential care and acute psychiatric care, and he is ready to take on this new project. “Willow Glen Care Center has a long history of working with smaller, rural Northern California counties to provide much needed behavioral health services to adults in need where resources are relatively scarce,” he said. “We look forward to the opportunity to develop this project.” Breazeal said the new facility will be another service to benefit the community and those experiencing mental health crises. “I think the benefit will be more comprehensive treatment for people who are in a mental health crisis,” he said. “It allows for longer-term treatment for individuals. It will help prevent people from going into full-blown crisis or help them reintegrate into the community.”

Now that the agreement has been signed, the next step will be securing a location. The program is expected to be up and running sometime next year. 
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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