Twin Falls Chosen as Site for New Crisis Center
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – The South Central Behavioral Health Board and South Central Public Health District announced Tuesday that a new crisis center, called Behavioral Health Quick Care, will be located in Twin Falls.
“We have worked tirelessly to establish a sustainable, outcome-driven facility that provides the appropriate level of care for individuals experiencing a behavioral crisis,” SCPHD Health Director Rene LeBlanc said in a prepared statement.
“Individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis are often incarcerated, hospitalized, or treated in hospital emergency departments because appropriate care has not been available. We will now be equipped to assist these individuals while unburdening local law enforcement and hospitals.”
A regional behavioral health board has been meeting since September to bring a crisis center to the Magic Valley. Its plan received legislative support in March 2 when the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee voted 16-2 to divert nearly $1.5 million to fund two new centers in the state – one of them slated for south-central Idaho.
LeBlanc previously told News Radio 1310 that the facility likely would open in Twin Falls because of its population and other amenities, but Jerome and Burley were also possibilities.
“The expectation is that it’ll be enough [money] to run the facility here for eight months until the center can get sustainable funding on its own,” he told the station in March. “It’s supposed to be fully funded by fiscal year 2018.”
The facility will serve at-risk persons get through the first 24 hours of a mental health crisis. Scott Rasmussen, program manager for Region V Behavioral Health, said in the news release that the facility will not be used as a shelter, hangout or recovery center.
“No individuals will be turned away based on race, color, religion or inability to pay,” he said. “Individuals with insurance/Medicaid will be billed for services. Our goal is to reduce the number of crises among individuals with behavioral health issues.”
The next steps in opening the facility, according to the news release, include acquiring a facility; providing limited behavioral health services; and submitting a long-term sustainability plan by the end of the second year.
“We are looking for interested behavioral health providers or non-profit agencies that are creative, resourceful and genuine in their intent to improve the behavioral health and wellness of our community,” LeBlanc said.