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Crisis Assessment Center Nears Opening

by on November 07, 2019 12:23 PM

Centre County's first walk-in mental health crisis assessment center is expected to open soon.

Natalie Corman, county director of Mental Health/ Intellectual Disability/Early Intervention, said at Tuesday's Board of Commissioners meeting that she is hopeful the Center for Community Resources will open on Dec. 1, depending on state licensing.

"We just last week had the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse here to start the licensing process, which can take a little bit of time for us," she said.

Located at 2100 E. College Ave. — in the complex with Saltwater of State College, Home Instead Senior Care and Pinehurst Homes — the site has been undergoing renovations, which are expected to continue through November.

Staff have also been hired and begun the required training needed for licensing, Corman said.

Once it begins operations, the center will be open to anyone who feels they are experiencing a mental health crisis but not a medical emergency to walk in and meet with staff, be assessed and be given necessary resources and referrals. 

In August, commissioners approved a contract for $694,981 with Center for Community Resources to set up and operate the center. 

In evaluating potential sites, CCR sought locations that were centrally located and easily accessible from the county's largest population centers of the State College and Bellefonte areas. 

Originally based in Butler County, CCR has been a licensed crisis service provider since 2003 and has provided similar services in counties across the state. Its director of programs is Shannon Quick, formerly director of Centre County's Can Help, which provides drug and alcohol and crisis intervention services. Quick also was among the first trained crisis intervention team members in the county.

Corman said in the summer that CCR has a well-rounded portfolio of expertise and has different tools and assessments to address mental health crises.

"They have a lot of that skill set, that experience we need to directly start working on a crisis when a person walks in the door," she said.

The new walk-in center will supplement but not replace existing mental health services and is expected to have close working relationships with Can Help and Mount Nittany Medical Center.

"We really look at this as a number of different entry points, kind of a no-wrong-door opportunity," Corman said.

After assessment, a person could be referred to county services or if they are already in case management on-call staff could be contacted. Staff also will be able to make referrals to in-network providers for individuals with insurance. If hospitalization is needed, arrangements could be made with the medical center.



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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