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Behavioral Health Crisis Center coming to Grand Rapids

Mental health graphic
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The BHCC is expected to dramatically reduce the delay in care people in crisis currently experience, by providing behavioral intervention and medical assessment at the same time.

When Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the 2023 state budget into law last week, included was $5 million to construct a Behavioral Health Crisis Center (BHCC) in Kent County.

The center, which hopes to open in 2023, is a private-public partnership between Network 180 and Trinity Health Saint Mary’s Grand Rapids. The center will be located downtown on the Trinity Health campus.

Leaders say the heart of the center will be a crisis stabilization unit, which will allow for rapidly accessible treatment that can steady most behavioral health crises within 24 hours.

Local industry leaders have been working for years to bring a crisis center of this scale to West Michigan. In late 2017, Network180 created a Crisis Center Task Force to assess the community’s need around crisis mental health services and to seek broad feedback on a crisis center concept. More than one dozen organizations gathered data to develop a comprehensive behavioral health crisis continuum and identify the financial costs and financial sustainability for the services.

“There has been a lot of hard work by individuals at the local, county, and state levels to bring expanded crisis services to West Michigan,” said Network180 and Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Stan Stek. “The funding included in the state budget will bring positive change for those experiencing mental health or substance use crises in our communities.”

The BHCC is expected to dramatically reduce the delay in care people in crisis currently experience by providing behavioral intervention and medical assessment at the same time. Network 180 and Trinity Health saying the center will provide a continuum of care that offers the “no wrong door” approach to behavioral healthcare services.

“We are pleased to be opening a new facility dedicated to serving the behavioral health needs of our most vulnerable population,” said Trinity Health Saint Mary’s President Matt Biersack MD. “This is a great step for our community as we start to develop a facility that will greatly improve access to much-needed behavioral health services in West Michigan.”

The groups said historically, individuals in behavioral health crises in Kent County have not been able to access care promptly and consistently in appropriate treatment settings. As a result, they often end up in an emergency department or correctional facility, leading to heightened anxiety, poor outcomes, and high costs.

With $5 million for the BHCC, along with the strides made in services over the past few years with the Certified Behavioral Healthcare Clinic grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, expansion of Mobile Crisis Response to serve adults & youth, collaboration with the City of Grand Rapids on the Homeless Outreach Team and Co-Response with the Grand Rapids Police Department and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, and recent implementation of the 988 Lifeline number, West Michigan residents will have access to an expanded and accessible continuum of crisis care to meet their behavioral health needs.

“We’re thankful our state legislators and Gov. Whitmer recognized the need for expanded behavioral health services in Michigan,” said Network180’s Executive Director Bill Ward. “This $5 million will go directly into providing people the help they need, rather than leaving them caught between gaps in service.”

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