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Plans for an Olmsted County crisis center get an early thumbs up from the state

Plans for an Olmsted County crisis center get an early thumbs up from the state

A county proposal to build a mental health crisis center in Rochester cleared a big hurdle this week.

Paul Fleissner, deputy administrator for Olmsted County, said he has been informed that the proposal put forward by the county “meets the state’s needs” for a new mental health center. The county had submitted a $5 million request to the state to build the facility on its Health, Housing and Human Services campus in southeast Rochester.

Fleissner said he is unsure whether the state intends to fund the full bonding request. Contract negotiations between the county and the Department of Human Services are set to begin Friday.

The goal is to build a facility that would increase timely access to mental health and substance use services. Under the proposal submitted to the state, the county said it plans 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.

Here is an excerpt from the proposal:

This facility will focus on filling some of the gaps in our behavioral health system and creating a more robust continuum of crisis services for the Southeast Minnesota Region. The facility will provide a family friendly atmosphere with a recovery-focus design. The design will provide safety, but in a non-clinical environment. There will be space for individuals that do not require an overnight stay to be safe while receiving an assessment, intervention, and real-time coordination of crisis and on-going services.

The 35-page proposal also includes plans to have mobile crisis staff who are capable of going out into the community. The center would also work with groups, like the National Alliance on Mental Illness Southeast Minnesota, to provide support to individuals and families in crisis.

This facility will encompass our mobile crisis structure and expand our service model to include rapid access to outpatient services and peer support to those in need of support. The facility will provide 16 crisis stabilization units for individuals to access when they need a safe environment to recover from their crisis episode. The programming is intended to serve adults as well as families and children.

The facility would serve as a resource for a 10-county area that includes Dodge, Steele, Waseca, Olmsted, Goodhue, Wabasha, Mower, Fillmore, Winona, and Houston. County officials said Rochester was selected due its central location in the region, along with the fact that, being the largest city in southeast Minnesota, it will likely have the greatest demand for services.

Preliminary plans call for the center to be open sometime in 2020.

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