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‘It’s been phenomenal:’ Deschutes County Stabilization Center set to open 24/7

(Update: Adding video)

State grant funds expanded hours, starting Oct. 19

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Deschutes County Stabilization Center has been up and running for about four months now. But in just over two weeks, it'll be staffed 24/7 for people in crisis, to the benefit of people in need, police and the community.

Holly Harris, who oversees crisis services as program manager at Deschutes County Behavioral Health said Friday of the first months of operation: "It's been phenomenal."

So far, the facility has seen more than 400 visits and 273 unique visitors.

The stabilization center opened in June, next to the sheriff's office in Bend, to serve people in need of short-term mental health assessment and help.

"The sheriff came to us and really wanted us to do something differently, because the jail was often housing a lot of our seriously ill mental population,” Harris said.

Melissa Thompson, a supervisor for the crisis team, said, "It's been a huge resource for law enforcement to be able to drop off folks that historically they would take just to the ER."

Harris added, "What they're doing instead is coming here, and we're letting them in and we're getting officers in out in three minutes or less."

People can also walk into the center for help on their own. After checking in, they will meet with a clinician to determine their next steps.

One of the opportunities they have access to is the respite room, which is probably one of the most unique things about this place, Harris said. After meeting with a clinician, someone can go there, relax, decompress and even lean back and take a nap.

Starting Oct. 19, someone could spend up to 23 hours in the respite room, if needed, because the center will be open 24/7, thanks to a $2.4 million state grant secured this summer.

"Us being open 24/7 allows people to have their mental health crisis at any time of the day that it happens and get help," Harris said.

fter someone visits the stabilization center, the next steps include setting up an appointment with behavioral services and medication if needed.

Or some people return the stabilization center for more help there.

To learn more about the facility and other crisis services offered by Deschutes County, visit:

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.


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