Tuscaloosa County is now home to one of two additional mental health crisis centers, further expanding the Alabama Crisis Care system and providing new resources for both patients and first responders.
In Fiscal Year 2023, which begins October 1, funds will be made available for Community Mental Health Centers in Indian Rivers Behavioral Health in Tuscaloosa County and SpectraCare Health Systems in Houston County.
The two new centers will complement four existing centers in Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile that now serve people with mental illness and substance use disorders at stepwise levels of care.
“The State of Alabama is proud to continue to do its part by offering first-class crisis assistance to people in need,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a press release. “During my term as governor, I have again focused on finding innovative ways to support Alabamas who are struggling with mental health issues, and I have no doubt that these two new institutions will change lives for the better.”
Two new centers in Tuscaloosa County (Region 2 – Tuscaloosa) and Houston County (Region 4 – Dothan) will serve large populations in regions with additional special groups, including veterans and young adults, officials said.
They join current crisis centers in AltaPoint Health in mobile, wellstone in Huntsville, Montgomery District Office of Mental Health in Montgomery and Jefferson, Blount, St. Clair Office of Mental Health (JBS) in Birmingham.
Mental Health Crisis Centers are designated areas for community members, law enforcement, and first responders who take in people in a mental health crisis.
The centers offer both direct access and the ability for first responders and law enforcement to transfer people to the center for emergency care, short term hospitalization, medication management, and case management.
Services also include critical crisis intervention and stabilization services, discharge planning, and, if necessary, connection to ongoing mental health services.
As part of the first major investment in public mental health services since Governor Lurleen Wallace, a Tuscaloosa native who became Alabama’s first woman governor, took office, Ivey prioritized building a continuum of care for mental health crises supported by efforts in the Legislature Alabama.
The first three crisis centers were funded with an appropriation of $18 million in the FY 2021 General Fund budget, with further funding provided in the FY 2022 and 2023 General Fund budgets to support existing crisis centers and add new crisis centers to throughout the state.
“We are committed to ensuring that all Alabamians have someone to call, someone to answer, and, if necessary, where to go during a crisis,” said Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Kim Boswell. “We are grateful to Governor Ivey for the Legislature’s leadership and continued investment in our state’s crisis care system, expanding access to even more people and their families.”
For more information, visit the Alabama Department of Mental Health’s Alabama Crisis System of Care web page at mh.alabama.gov/crisis-system-care/.