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Dutchess County Stabilization Center Grand Opening
Innovative Facility Provides 24/7 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
County Executive Molinaro said, “This Stabilization Center is the result of a unique public-private collaboration, and we thank our community partners for their cooperation in bringing this life-saving facility to fruition. This facility is a model for New York and the nation, one that can be replicated throughout America as we improve the lives of our neighbors living with mental health and substance abuse issues.”
Located at 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie, the Stabilization Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and welcomes individuals of all ages and families. The center is 100 percent voluntary – guests can walk in at any time; there are no appointments needed – and people may stay at the Center for 23 hours at a time. No one is turned away due to lack of insurance or inability to pay. Upon leaving the Stabilization Center, individuals receive follow-up and monitoring from Stabilization Center staff to ensure success after their stay.
Among the services available at the Stabilization Center, individuals and families can receive:
• Crisis Counseling and Mental Health Assessments
• Supervised Outpatient Withdrawal Services
• Addictions and Substance Use Counseling
• Peer Advocacy and Supports
• Youth and Family Counseling
• Links to Community-based Resources
The Stabilization Center represents a collaborative effort with several contributing community partners including: MidHudson Regional Hospital, Mid-Hudson Addiction Recovery Center (MARC) providing addiction and sobering services, Astor Services for Children & Families providing youth and family expertise, and PEOPLe, Inc. offering vital peer advocate resources.
MidHudson Regional Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, is a critical partner in the Stabilization Center. MidHudson Regional has provided more than $100,000 in financial support for the center and provides four full-time nursing staff for the center’s operations. As the local community hospital providing psychiatric services, MHRH has recognized the need for this community resource and has been instrumental in making the center a reality.
"As one of New York State's largest providers of behavioral health services, Westchester Medical Center Health Network is committed to providing Dutchess County residents with access to high-quality care right in their communities,” said Eric Amoh, Senior Vice President, Clinical Services, Westchester Medical Center Health Network. “WMCHealth has invested in the future success of the innovative Dutchess Stabilization Center with around-the-clock clinical staffing from our nearby MidHudson Regional Hospital, with a shared goal of reducing unnecessary emergency department and hospital use and connecting residents with the appropriate care they need. We are thrilled with the opportunity to play a key role in this one-of-a-kind effort to benefit our communities."
The Stabilization Center began providing services in February and more than 100 people have already been assisted including individuals dealing with opiate abuse issues. Several individuals have been brought to the Stabilization Center by local law enforcement, many of whom have received the County sponsored Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), who recognized the individuals were experiencing mental health crisis and chose to bring them to the Stablization Center rather than the emergency room or Dutchess County Jail.
Construction of the Stabilization Center began in early 2016, following the unanimous adoption of a $4.8 million bond resolution by the Dutchess County Legislature in December 2015. The center is housed with Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health mental health division offices to centrally locate services including the County’s 24/7 HELPLINE, Mobile Crisis Intervention Team, and other diversion services including the County’s Partial Hospitalization Program, an acute, short term, outpatient, day program designed to reduce hospital length of stay or avoid hospitalization altogether.
Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Dale Borchert said, “Dutchess County is leading New York State with our approach to addressing mental health issues. The County Legislature was proud to support the funding to build this innovative center and are proud of the work being done there by our dedicated DBCH employees as well as our community partners. The Stabilization Center is going to make a positive difference in the lives of many people.”
As part of the grand opening celebration, the Stabilization Center was dedicated to former Dutchess County Commissioner of Mental Hygiene, Dr. Kenneth M. Glatt, Ph.D., ABPP for his efforts to assist those dealing with mental illness and for his contributions toward the creation of the County’s HELPLINE service. Dr. Glatt was the County’s longest serving Commissioner of Mental Hygiene, having served 35 years as Commissioner before his retirement in May 2015.
“Today's dedication is the highest honor of my professional career. I thank County Executive Molinaro for the recognition,” said Dr. Glatt.
Dr. Glatt was the driving force behind the creation of the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT), a key component of the County’s diversion program. The MCIT is dispatched through HELPLINE and responds immediately to individuals in crisis to help avoid an Emergency Department (ED) visit and/or support individuals in the community following a brief ED intervention. The team assists individuals in a wide variety of ways, from telephone reassurance and medication prescription assistance to counseling and even attending court arraignments to help divert an individual into mental health treatment services rather than being incarcerated. Since it’s inception, the team has assisted thousands of individuals and the new Stabilization Center now serves as a critical resource in their efforts by offering a safe place to de-escalate and be connected with vital services.
The MCIT began in 2012 when Dutchess County began receiving $1.5 million in funding from the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH) to support programs focused on decreasing and diverting inpatient admissions, facilitating discharges and strengthening the continuum of services for people impacted by the Hudson River Psychiatric Center closure and other community residents with mental health needs. With support from Dutchess County’s state representatives, Senator Sue Serino and Assemblymember Didi Barrett, the County has continued to receive this crucial annual funding and both Barrett and Serino have been vital in securing millions in additional funding to assist with mental health and jail diversion programming.
Senator Sue Serino said, “Overcoming the stigma that surrounds mental illness starts with ensuring that those in our community who are struggling have easy access to the critical tools and support they need. This stabilization center has the potential to help individuals and families proactively overcome some of their greatest challenges and will not only save lives, it will transform them. Turning our County Executive's unique vision into a reality takes committed partners at every level, and I am proud to have played a role in securing the funding necessary to make it happen. I am even prouder to play a role in sending a clear message to those who are struggling that their mental health—and their lives—matter and to be able to remind them that help is always available.”
"I have long believed that more attention and resources must be focused on behavioral and mental health, and that includes addiction and substance abuse, which have devastated our families and reached crisis proportions in our region," said Assemblymember Didi Barrett. "I am pleased to provide Dutchess County with state funding to support needed reforms to the criminal justice system – to focus more on mental health, drug addiction and special populations – and to fund innovative county programs like the Stabilization Center."
The establishment of the Stabilization Center is the final component in the County’s ongoing efforts to drive down the rate of recidivism and to intervene and divert individuals in crisis from community emergency rooms and the criminal justice system. Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement officers and first responders, the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team, Alternative to Incarceration programming, and the 24/7 HELPLINE all work together to work towards the County’s goal of reducing avoidable hospital visits and jail admissions.
The Dutchess County Stabilization Center model is being closely watched by agencies throughout New York State who hope to replicate similar efforts in their communities. Members of the New York City Bureau of Mental Health recently toured the center, after researching and visiting facilities in several other states, and noted “Dutchess County has built a foundation that brings mental health services together in a way that no one else has.”
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