DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) – SpectraCare announced on Tuesday that its new crisis center is expected to be operational by summer and will focus on providing immediate assistance to people with mental health issues.
“A lot of times they call and the doors aren’t opened,” is how SpectraCare CEO Melissa Kirkland describes the current care situation.
Often, when first responders encounter these suffering issues, they have no choice but to take them to the ER or to jail.
The new SpectraCare Crises Diversion Center will provide initial help, generally keeping patients for less than 24 hours and then releasing them to appropriate long-term care.
It will become one of six centers in Alabama.
The cost of the installation is $9.4 million, with the State of Alabama paying much of that cost.
Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) led efforts to find 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 funding for operations to set up this facility,” Clouse said. “Then, with additional financial support for facility acquisition and renovations, the city, county and business community came together for this new home.
The city of Dothan paid nearly $1 million, using money accumulated in its diversion fund before the trial.
Here is the announcement from the Dothan Region Chamber of Commerce:
Melissa Kirkland, SpectraCare Health Systems Inc. CEO today announced that SpectraCare has received $7 million in funding from Governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama State Legislature, and the Department of Mental Health of Alabama 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 the planned opening will take place in May 2023. The project represents an investment of $9.4 million and will add an additional 160 employees to support this operation.
Kirkland said that due to additional financial support from the City of Dothan Houston County Commission and the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, the crisis center will be located in Dothan. care. A project of this magnitude would not be possible without the support of the state and the communities we serve. The decision by our state, city and county leaders to fund crisis centers will make a difference for many years to come.
Kirkland explained that people dealing with an acute mental health or addiction crisis often end up in the emergency room or in jail. The SpectraCare Crisis Center will provide the community with direct access to mental health and addictions care operating like a hospital emergency department, except with an emphasis on behavioral health care rather than physical health care .
The diversion center will be a designated place where community members, law enforcement and first responders can take someone in mental health crisis. The center will provide critical crisis intervention and stabilization services, including 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 service provided to aid in a more successful rate of recovery.
State Representative Steve Clouse said, “The establishment 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 to make a decision regarding installation. The delegation worked hard to obtain financing for the operations to set up this installation. Then, with additional financial 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 area to deal with the adversities of mental illness.
In a joint statement, Mayor Mark Saliba and President 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 who will be helped with this new center. We appreciate the work of Governor Ivey, Director and Staff of Mental Health Alabama, our exceptional legislative delegation, and the support of our committees to support this major development.
SpectraCare has been answering the call for help in Wiregrass for over 50 years. Calls for help are being made at all hours of the day and night, from all parts of the communities in the region, made by those who are suffering and the families who are suffering with them. Calls like “I don’t want to feel like this anymore, I cry all the time and all I want is to sleep, it’s 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, addictions, and developmental disability services in Barbour, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties. With more than 400 employees and 39 locations, SpectraCare is the largest behavioral healthcare provider in Southeast Alabama. For more information on 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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