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Gov. Ivey awards crisis center funding to three Alabama mental health clinics

People who are in a mental health crisis can go to the crisis care center rather than being put in jail or taken to a hospital emergency room.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Three mental health clinics in Alabama are getting funding for crisis centers, including one in Huntsville.

On Wednesday, Governor Kay Ivey announced Wellstone Behavioral Health in Huntsville, along with AltaPointe Health in Mobile and the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority, will get funds to help people with mental illnesses and those who struggle with substance abuse.

People who are in a mental health crisis can go to the crisis care center rather than being put in jail or taken to a hospital emergency room.

“Behavioral health care in Alabama is changing to better meet the needs of our citizens,” Governor Ivey said. “Expanding and enhancing access to crisis care services will also provide a range of tools to divert individuals from emergency departments and jails, maximize the limited behavioral health workforce, and most importantly, improve the quality of life for Alabama families and communities."

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One goal of the crisis care centers is to give communities, law enforcement, first responders, and hospitals a safe place to take an individual who is in a mental health crisis.

Hospital emergency departments and law enforcement agencies will be able to transfer people to the center for short-term admission, medication management, and case management. The crisis care centers will also allow walk-in access.

"These three crisis centers are just the beginning," said Governor Ivey. "We have hopes and plans for more, and RFPs were sent out and it was a strong competition for the locations of these three crisis centers."

The awards were granted through a Request for Information and competitive Request for Proposal evaluation and selection process.

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“We have an opportunity to truly deliver on the commitment to better health outcomes for all Alabamians,” House Majority Leader Ledbetter said. “Without these types of crisis centers in Alabama, those in a mental health crisis will continue to be taken and admitted improperly into local jails and hospital emergency departments. There is an opportunity now to commit to improved crisis care for those with acute mental health needs and substance use disorders.”

These centers will help to reduce the number of arrests, reduce the frequency of visits to hospital emergency departments, provide individuals in crisis access to care, and promote sustained recovery.

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