Westchester to open 24/7 crisis center to meet medical, emotional, social needs

Posted: Updated:
WHITE PLAINS -

Westchester County officials have created a 24-hour crisis center intended to meet medical, emotional and social needs under one roof.

“It’s a multidisciplinary approach. We'll have nursing staff, certified alcoholism counselors, social workers and peers to try to individualize what that person needs,” says Michael Orth, of Mentak.

Westchester's commissioner at the Department of Mental Health says many people don’t seek help because of the stigma attached to it. He says a 24-hour crisis center in the model of an urgent care center could be one-stop shopping to those in distress.

Westchester wouldn't be the first of its kind. There are similar centers spread out across the country, including one in Dutchess County, where thousands have been treated since 2017.

“We really are trying to be more proactive in engaging them sooner, in getting their needs met so we can avert unnecessary hospitalizations, incarcerations, arrests and really try to be proactive, and really try to meet people where they are at with their mental health challenges,” says Orth.

Officials don't have a location pinpointed yet, but they hope to open in 2019.

County officials are still working on the funding for the crisis center, and they are looking for the facility to be located near White Plains.

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