BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Tuesday marked the grand opening of the Craig Disaster Care Heart in Birmingham, a facility that well being officers and lawmakers stated will revolutionize psychological well being care in central Alabama.
The middle will likely be open 24/7 year-round and is designed to assist individuals affected by a psychological well being or substance use disaster. In response to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Division, 240 individuals are taken to jails in Jefferson County each month for psychological sickness or substance use.
“[Law enforcement can take mental health patients] to a neighborhood hospital emergency division, the place they’ve to attend typically eight to 10 hours, they will take the particular person to jail, or they will depart them within the atmosphere they’re in. None of these are nice choices. We wish to be that nice choice,” stated Jim Crego, govt director of JBS Psychological Well being Authority.
The Craig Disaster Care Heart not solely goals to cease jails and emergency rooms from getting crammed with individuals who don’t have to be there but additionally seeks to get sufferers the assistance they want. The middle is ready to open to the general public within the subsequent few weeks.
“In Alabama, we’re altering the dialog about psychological well being care,” stated Commissioner Kimberly Boswell with the Alabama Division of Psychological Well being.
The ability options 32 non permanent statement beds and 16 prolonged statement beds. It’s a protected and supportive house for households, first responders and others to carry these in the course of a psychological well being disaster.
“This can be a game-changer for all legislation enforcement,” stated Sheriff Mark Pettway with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Workplace.
Pettway stated the middle will likely be important in serving to officers save sources and get again to combating crime.
“I’ve had relations that had conditions of disaster. We wish to guarantee that they get handled pretty, and others get handled pretty. They simply need assistance, we wish to be sure that they get assist,” Pettway stated.
Daniel Hargrove, a licensed peer specialist at JBS Psychological Well being Authority, is aware of firsthand how vital this work is.
“The toughest a part of being in a psychological well being disaster is being in a delusional state. I couldn’t differentiate actuality from phantasm … The final place on earth I wished to be was on the ER,” Hargrove stated.
Sufferers are despatched house with companies to maintain them on a path to enchancment so care doesn’t cease after their keep.
“I believe it’s an enormous step in the correct route for this group and for the state,” stated Senator Jabo Waggoner, Alabama District 16.