Jefferson County wins grant for new mental health center

(KEYC News Now)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 9:54 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County will soon be home to the newest mental health crisis center funded by the State of Alabama. Governor Kay Ivey and Commissioner Kimberly Boswell of the Alabama Department of Mental Health made the announcement Monday.

The center, the fourth of its kind in Alabama, will serve people with mental illness and substance use disorders, expanding access to care more broadly than ever before.

“We could not be more excited to learn of this exciting news,” Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway said. “Research has shown that through centers such as this one, we can work with individuals dealing with mental health issues to provide them with faster assistance without having to be bring them into the criminal justice system.”

The current Crisis Centers are located at AltaPointe Health in Mobile, WellStone in Huntsville, and the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority in Montgomery.

“The Ivey Administration is fully committed to addressing the very real challenges in the area of mental health care. This is critical, and should not be overlooked, which is why it remains of high importance in my agenda,” said Governor Ivey. “I am proud to award the JBS Mental Health Authority this fourth crisis center in Birmingham. These centers will go a long way in improving mental health care in Alabama.”

Commissioner Boswell added, “This award demonstrates the commitment of the local community to form and strengthen partnerships. The addition of the fourth Crisis Center, in one of the most populated metropolitan areas in the state, brings vital and necessary crisis services in an expanded and more accessible form.”

Crisis Centers are a designated place for community members, law enforcement, and first responders to take someone who is in mental health crisis. Services also include critical crisis intervention and stabilization services, discharge planning and connections to ongoing behavioral health care services, if needed.

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