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Mental health crisis center opens

Mental health crisis center opens
MGN Online

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 3:48pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 28, 2014 - 10:26am

A crisis center for mental health patients opened its doors Thursday.

The Emergence Health Network's 24/7 Extended Observation Unit, 1601 Yandell Ave., has 12 beds to treat those suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, crisis intervention and other needs.

Before the EOU, many of those patients would either be hospitalized, or sometimes even jailed.

EHN's Chief Executive Officer Kristi Daugherty believes this unit helps fill the gap in mental health services in El Paso.

"This will give them an opportunity to see a psychiatrist, a therapist, and also get linked to appropriate levels of care rather than waiting in an emergency room bed or a hospital bed they may not need," she said.

Emergency psychiatrists will be seen virtually through telemedicine. Patients can stay up to 48 hours to stabilize, then they'll be referred to other services if needed.

Law enforcement and emergency departments can refer patients to the EOU, or the general public can walk in to EHN's Crisis Intake Unit at 1600 Montana Ave.

The EOU is one of Emergence Health Network's five ongoing Medicaid 1115 Waiver Projects, created 21 jobs, and is expected to pull in more than $4 million to El Paso County's behavioral healthcare system over 4 years.

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