RRH breaks ground for new crisis stabilization center

RRH breaks   ground for  new crisis  stabilization centerRidgecrest Regional Hospital, in partnership with the Kern County Mental Health Department, began site preparation this week on the future home of the Ridgecrest Crisis Stabilization Unit.

The new clinic will be built near the existing hospital campus. The partnership will enable KCMH and RRH to serve the whole person by addressing behavioral health care and medical care in close collaboration. Funded by a grant from the California Health Facilities Financing Authority, the new, 12-bed CSU will provide services to up to 8 adults and 4 minors. Staffing and operations will fall under direction of KCMH.

Services at the CSU will include crisis assessment and evaluation for behavioral health and substance use disorders, evidence-based brief crisis interventions, coordination of admissions to inpatient facilities when necessary, coordination of care with individual’s support systems and community providers, referrals and linkage to community resources, and coordination of medical care support when necessary through Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.

The new Ridgecrest CSU will not only increase access to crisis services, but also reduce transports to the Bakersfield CSU (with up two hours travel time one way), reduce the number of individuals in crisis at the RRH Emergency Department, reduce the amount of time that law enforcement remains involved in a mental health crisis, and enhance the existing outpatient behavioral services that exist in our isolated area of Kern County.

RRH estimated that more than 300 patients seen in the Emergency Department between 2014-2015 for a mental health or substance use disorder could have been referred to a crisis stabilization unit if those local services existed. Our best estimate is that services will be available sometime in the fall of 2017.

Pictured: Construction crews prep for a new clinic near the RRH administrative offices. -- Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2017-04-07