The Dane County Board expressed support for the construction of the Crisis Triage Center to assist more people in behavioral health crises, scheduled to open in 2023.
County Executive Joe Parisi announced the $10 million funding for the project Monday, according to the Dane County press release. Dane County Board Chair Analiese Eicher said the center is set to open in 2023.
The Crisis Triage Center is a facility intended to keep those struggling with behavioral health issues out of the criminal justice system, according to the County of Dane website.
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It will be an alternative to jails and hospitals, providing services to individuals through extended recovery services, the County of Dane website said.
The $10 million investment will go into acquiring the site, constructing, planning and developing the center, Parisi said. An additional one million dollars will go into enhancing services and operations after the CTC opens, he said.
The CTC is the single largest item on Parisi’s 2022 budget proposal according to the County of Dane website.
Parisi is also creating the new Division of Behavioral Health in 2022 to oversee the development of the new CTC, Dane County stated in a press release.
The items need to be approved by the County Board as well as other committees before they can be set into motion, but Eicher said the Dane County Board fully anticipates Parisi’s items to be supported through the budget process.
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“These are all initiatives that members of the County Board of Supervisors have been working on for years,” Eicher said.
Parisi invested $300,000 to plan the CTC in the 2021 budget, the website said.
This year’s budget also included other items related to behavioral health, such as investing an additional $500,000 to hire more mental health professionals in schools and $440,000 to increase the number of staff at Dane County’s Behavioral Health Resource Center, The Wisconsin State Journal said.
Eicher said the CTC’s purpose is to provide support for all individuals in a mental health crisis, regardless of their situation, by allowing anyone to walk in or be brought in by law enforcement or community groups.
“This is about caring for our friends, our family, our neighbors, our folks in need, and it is ultimately going to create a healthier community where folks are having their needs met,” Eicher said.
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The budget and the items included in it will be introduced Friday, Eicher said. The County Board will make adjustments to the budget, but it is likely Parisi’s items involving the CTC will continue to receive support from the board.
Creating the CTC was one of the top priorities over the past few years, Eicher said.
“By being able to support a facility like this, to support this new initiative, we are setting ourselves up for a healthier community … and, I think, greater success,” Eicher said.