Crisis Resource Center: A Healing Environment
All too often in the Milwaukee area, people experiencing mental health crises end up in the back of a squad car on the way to jail or a hospital emergency room. These outcomes can be both traumatic and costly – about $1,400 a day for a stay at the county’s Mental Health Complex. There is another alternative.
Community Advocates will soon open Milwaukee’s first north-side Crisis Resource Center, a 24-hour walk-in facility offering short-term stabilization to people experiencing a psychiatric crisis. Early interventions and short-term, intensive services can help eliminate the need for hospitalization and emergency detentions.
Individuals will be supported in developing a comprehensive crisis stabilization plan and linked to appropriate community-based resources, such as treatment for substance abuse issues. The Center will offer a range of services including nursing, psychotherapy, and group therapy.
A key feature is that individuals will receive peer support provided by a Certified Peer Support Specialist: getting advice from someone who has been there can make all the difference in creating recovery-oriented environment and authentic connections with people in need.
The hope is that the increased knowledge, support and access to community resources provided by the Crisis Resource Center will help people with mental illness to live a safe and healthy life in the community. Program staff anticipate serving more than 1,200 individuals per year.
The funding Community Advocates received from Milwaukee County to develop the Crisis Resource Center is part of a larger community-wide push to improve access to community-based mental health services while reducing dependence on the county’s Behavioral Health Division facilities.
Community Advocates is well-positioned to operate the Center because it already owns a 15-bed facility that can be immediately used for the programming – the building that formerly housed its Horizons program. This north-side center will build upon the previous success of the south-side Crisis Resource Center opened in 2007 by Transitional Living Services, Inc.
Community Advocates (CA) has long served the needs of the most vulnerable people in Milwaukee. The Crisis Resource Center will benefit from CA’s array of other services – such as homeless outreach nursing, supportive housing, and benefits assistance – connecting clients to comprehensive support and resources.