New mental health Crisis Care Center set to open in Jefferson County next month

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 10:34 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Police all across Jefferson County will have a new mental health resource to utilize when responding to calls.

It’s a new Crisis Care Center in Birmingham and it’s set to open next month.

The center is for when any law enforcement officer in the county is responding to a mental health or substance abuse call and the goal is to get the person medical help, instead of taking them to jail or the emergency room.

“There is not a place for them to go for them to get the care they need,” Crisis Care Center Director Dr. Sabrina Scott said.

Scott said it is going to provide more access to mental health and substance use care, but also get police officers back to patrols.

“People can have somewhere to go to get their services instead of sitting in the emergency room for hours at a time,” Scott said. “We want the emergency room and the jail to be free to do the things they need to do and we are able to take care of those who are sick from mental health and substance use.”

Scott said officers sometimes spend hours checking patients into the ER or taking them to jail, but now, it will only take them 15 minutes to get someone help.

“One unit is a temporary observation unit,” she said. “It is 32 beds that are recliners and individuals can stay here up to 23 hours. Our second unit is a 16 bed extended unit. These are your people who may be in more psychosis or suicidal ideations. It’s a one, three, or five day stay here.”

Funded by the state, Scott said the center will help provide therapy, medications, and evaluations.

“Once they leave here, we will link them back up with their community resources,” Scott said.

It’s set to open next month and the center will also take walk-ins.

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