The Deschutes County Stabilization Center is now open and serving children and adults who are in need of short-term, mental-health crisis assessment and stabilization.

The Stabilization Center, located in north Bend, will also address the needs of citizens in mental health crisis who have been referred to law enforcement or the emergency department.

“We’re so excited that this facility is now open and staff continue to work with local law enforcement to meet our community’s needs,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Henderson. “The stabilization center, which is meant to help people with serious mental health issues before they end up in the criminal justice system, has been one of the Board’s top priorities.”

Local law enforcement agencies have seen increases in calls related to mental illness over the past several years. In many instances, officers would transport people experiencing a crisis to the emergency department. The Stabilization Center will provide a much needed alternative and should ease the burden on the emergency department.

“Alternatives to incarceration are important when you’re trying to be proactive in law enforcement. Diverting people from the criminal justice system can often be the best solution for Public Safety,” said Sheriff L. Shane Nelson. “We value our partnership with Behavioral Health and are excited the opening of the Stabilization Center provides proactive opportunities as a valued resource.“

Deschutes County Health Services received $1.2 million in grant funding to use for the construction of a facility, as well as operational support from Deschutes County, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, the Central Oregon Health Council, the City of Bend and other donors.

“It’s exciting to see this project come together,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone. “We’ve known for some time that this is what our community needed and seeing partners work together to make it a reality is fantastic.”

The Stabilization Center staff welcomes individuals to walk in when they are experiencing a mental health crisis, or they can be referred or brought to the facility by local law enforcement, other community partners, or family and friends.

Twenty-four staff, including all existing Crisis and Forensic Diversion Team staff who will now work out of the center, provide a wide array of crisis services to the community including: crisis walk-in appointments for all ages, adult respite services, jail diversion, peer support, case management, and more.

“This project has truly shown what a community can do when they come together,” said Deschutes County Health Services Program Manager Holly Harris. “I’m thrilled that we are open and able to serve those most in need.”

For more information visit www.deschutes.org/stabilizationcenter or call 541-585-7210 (non-emergency).

To access crisis services, call 541-322-7500 EXT. 9.