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County gets full $5 million for crisis center

County gets full $5 million for crisis center

Olmsted County has learned that it will receive $5 million — the full amount it had requested — in state funding to build a mental health crisis center on its campus in southeast Rochester.

County officials were first informed two weeks ago that they would receive funding, but were uncertain at the time how much the state would allocate for the center. On Wednesday, county commissioners were told the project has secured the maximum amount allowed under 2018 legislation that designated $28.1 million for centers around the state.

With state funding approved, the county hopes to get going on the project as soon as this spring. The center is scheduled to open sometime in 2020.

Once up and running, it will offer 24/7 access to crisis assessment, intervention, and stabilization, along with peer-support, real-time care coordination, and other behavioral health and psychiatric services.

While the state grant will cover much of the construction costs, it will not fund operations of the facility. That will be left up to a consortium of community partners, including Olmsted County, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center and NAMI Southeast Minnesota.

"We realized early on that we all share the same goal," said Paul Fleissner, deputy administrator for the county. "To address the serious gap in mental health care in our society, we needed to work together. The model we developed closes that gap, providing the care people need no matter their age, type of crisis, or ability to pay."  

The facility, officials say, will serve both children and adults in a safe and family-friendly environment that “doesn't feel clinical or restrictive.”

In addition to Olmsted County, the center will provide support for people throughout the 10-county region that includes Dodge, Steele, Waseca, Olmsted, Goodhue, Wabasha, Mower, Fillmore, Winona, and Houston.

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