Craig Crisis Care Center officially open after nursing shortage delayed start date

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 11:45 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Craig Crisis Care Center in Birmingham is finally open after a nursing shortage delayed their start date.

We first reported on the need for nurses about a month ago. The executive director said shortly after the story aired, they received several applications.

JBS Mental Health Authority Executive Director Jim Crego says they originally planned to open February 23, but instead, the doors opened one month later on March 23.

Now they can help people dealing with crisis. They are starting with a small capacity so they only have ten beds open, but that’s ten more than they had a few weeks ago.

“Some of the people that we serve are co-occurring so they have both mental health and substance use,” said Dr. Sabrina Scott, the Craig Crisis Care Center Director. “We have been doing assessments. We have been linking people back up to services, giving them resources for the few that have come in.”

Crego says the facility will be able to help those struggling while also relieving emergency rooms and jails.

“Law enforcement also will benefit from this because they are going to have individuals who they -- currently, now when they encounter them in crisis, have probably two options,” explained Crego. “Take them to the emergency department or take them to jail which is a very chaotic, not a very good environment for the individual to get the treatment they need.”

“We look forward to giving that specialized treatment to get people stabilized, back to their communities and back to their families,” said Scott.

They hope to connect people to longer term providers and resources so they can turn their lives around and not become reoccurring patients.

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