Winnie Anne Wright
December 30, 2013
Valdosta, GA - With the closing of Southwestern State Hospital, many in South Georgia have wondered about the fate of mental health in the area. On Monday, joined by many influential members of the community, the Behavioral Health Crisis Services Center opened it's doors to those in need.
"This is probably one of the most intensive types of facilities that we have. It's called a Behavioral Health Crisis Service Center. It's a 24-hour 7 days a week drop off center for people who are in accute crisis", says Commissioner Frank Berry, with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health.
Last year BHS served nearly 6,000 patients. Whether you have little or no insurance or income, Berry says everyone is welcome at the center.
When patients arrive at Behavioral Health Services, their first stop will be for a clinical evaluation. That's when doctors will determine their course of treatment.
Patients will then either be sent to the short term observation area, or will be checked in for longer treatment. According to Berry, this is all part of a goal to provide long term assistance to patients and to also avoid those in crisis from crowding hospitals or ending up in jail.
"This is a part of a big array of services that have been put into this region to support communities. And the ultimate goal is that when you provide the full array of services, you start staying away from what we call the deep end services. Meaning, in-patient hospitalization", says Berry.
The Behavioral Health Crisis Center hopes to begin accepting new patients on January, 6. For more information, visit http://www.bhsga.com.