“This Center will be equipped with 24 hours/seven days a week mental health and substance use specialty supports and services … to more appropriately address crisis needs in community-based settings that are less restrictive than other settings.”
ISK CEO Jeff Patton
ISK held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wed., Oct. 5, 2022 for our new Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center at 440 W. Kalamazoo Avenue.
View the event video HERE!
CEO Jeff Patton and the facility project team were joined by county and city officials, leaders of area medical centers and hospitals, and law enforcement representatives.
The new 24-hour center, slated for completion in June 2023, will provide both same-day access and urgent care treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. It will be Kalamazoo County’s first behavioral health urgent care and access center, and one of very few across the state.
The freestanding 7,900 sq. ft. building will house nine treatment rooms, offices, waiting rooms, a conference room, reception area, lobby, and a security office. A police/ambulance entrance will allow the center to serve as an alternative to a hospital emergency department (ED) for people experiencing behavioral health crises. An estimated 68% of crisis calls could be resolved without using an ED, according to ISK, and the center is expected to take some pressure off local hospitals.
Accessibility to people in need is a key feature. The walk-in facility is located near areas with a high concentration of individuals receiving behavioral health services, including those experiencing homelessness, according to Patton and Dianne Shaffer, ISK’s Senior Executive for Policy, Planning and Innovation. It’s easily walkable from nearby shelters and the city’s downtown area.
ISK officials hope that by offering quick access to mental health professionals, an alternative to EDs, and the opportunity to be connected with other services, the new Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center will result in better outcomes for people in crisis.
Funding for the $5 million project has come from several sources, including local philanthropic organizations (like the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation) as well as American Rescue Plan Act funds awarded to ISK by Kalamazoo County.
“We are excited by the overwhelming funding support we received from the County of Kalamazoo and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation to establish the first Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center in Kalamazoo County,” Patton said.
“This Center will be equipped with 24 hours/seven days a week mental health and substance use specialty supports and services for the majority of individuals served by Integrated Services of Kalamazoo to more appropriately address crisis needs in community-based settings that are less restrictive than other settings.”
Patton continued, “We believe this coordinated and comprehensive behavioral health urgent care and access system will reduce the need to deploy law enforcement and emergency medical services to intervene in mental health crises. This will also decrease medically unnecessary community hospital emergency department use and public safety detainment for persons experiencing mental health crises.”
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Attendees at the groundbreaking included county and city officials, leaders of area medical centers and hospitals, and law enforcement representatives. All photos and video by Annette Shutty. More photos here.