Dane County has struck a partnership with the Mental Health Center of Dane County to establish two new crisis care mental health facilities in Madison.
The two new facilities are intended for people facing mental health emergencies.
In a statement, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said the facilities are a response to the increase in need for mental health services at the critical level.
A group of consultants called the Health Council Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Task Force met last year to determine a smarter way to help people in this situation, said Josh Wescott, Falk’s spokesperson.
The task force determined there was a need for this specific type of care and their top recommendation was to create crisis care facilities, Wescott added.
The need for these services is great; nationally an estimated one of every five people is affected by a mental health problem, Wescott said.
Wescott also said the creation of mental health facilities is another effort aiding the prevention of homelessness.
These innovative programs are designed to work with alcohol addiction, drug abuse and mental illnesses, some of the root causes of homelessness, Wescott added.
“[These programs] prevent people from falling into the deep end and losing their families and losing their jobs,” Wescot said. “They prevent things from getting worse.”
The facilities are designed to serve anyone of any age, Wescott said. He added the facilities would be more community based and have a residential feel.
Wescott also said $30 million of the Dane County budget goes to services to assist with mental health, which are a priority to the county.
These new facilities both treat patients more efficiently and are more cost-efficient. Previously, patients in need of crisis care were taken to emergency rooms or transferred to more costly facilities such as Mendota Mental Health Institute, the statement said.
Emergency rooms are not designed to handle these types of cases, William Greer, CEO of the Mental Health Center of Dane County, said in the statement.
Additionally, treating patients in emergency rooms or Mendota Mental Health Institute is significantly more expensive to taxpayers. Taxpayers pay up to $1,200 per day per bed for an individual to be housed in that institute.
“These new facilities are more cost effective for patients that could only need to stay for one day to make sure they get the right medicine or if they need folks to talk to,” Wescott said.
Bayside Place, the first of the two new 24-hour mental health crisis care stabilization centers, will be located at 702 West Main Street at the Mental Health Center of Dane County. The second will be in the Tellurian Center at 300 Femrite Drive, the statement said.
Together the new centers will have 20 beds, 12 at Bayside Place and eight in the Tellurian Center. The Tellurian Center location will open later this month, while the Bayside Place location will open early in 2011.