New mental health facility set to open this month in Waco

POSTED: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 1:28pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 10:28pm

A new mental health crisis center is set to open later this month, which will provide crucial services to Waco and surrounding communities.

A partnership between the Providence DePaul Center and the Heart of Texas Mental Health Mental Retardation Center, along with about $3.4 million dollars awarded from the state, helped make this facility possible. The new Crisis Stabilization Unit will have its own entrance at the Providence DePaul Center. It will help provide private, quick, easy access for patients. When it's up and running, the facility will have 16 beds for patients with mental health needs.

"An average stay of three to five days to help them solve whatever crisis they may be dealing with. They may be having some severe depression, some suicidal thinking. They may have some brief psychosis," said Dana Lafayette, Director of Crisis Services for Heart of Texas MHMR.

The multi-million dollar state-funded project has been in the works for several months now. Officials say it's needed in the community because, for now, the nearest center like this one is in Austin.

"Across the state, mental health beds are very rare. So, this gives an additional 16 beds for those people who need that type of stabilization," said Alice Adam, Director of Clinical Programs for the Providence DePaul Center.

And, for a patient in a crisis, having to go to Austin and wait for up to several days to get treatment could be detrimental.

"It can be life-saving to get them the help they need when they need it," said Lafayette.

In May, the Heart of Texas MHMR announced a new program to keep mentally disabled patients out of jail. Officials say this new crisis center can now also assist those individuals.

"They may be able to benefit from being here at the crisis stabilization unit, as well as some other programs that we have to offer," said Lafayette.

The Crisis Stabilization Unit is expected to open by month's end.


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