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Deschutes County Stabilization Center still in the works


Deschutes County is getting closer to opening a stabilization center at the public safety campus off Highway 20 in Bend.

County commissioners met on Monday with county Health Services officials to get an update on plans for the new facility.

Since their last meeting on the topic, two of the three commissioners have toured other facilities across the state to get a better idea how this new facility can best serve residents.

One of the goals is to help law enforcement by giving them a place to take people in need of mental health services, instead of to jail or the St. Charles Bend emergency room.

It also woild allow them to quickly leave the individual with a behavioral and mental health professional, instead of staying with them at the ER for several hours.

“Jails across our country are the largest mental health providers in our country — and that’s just a travesty, quite frankly,” said Holly Harris, program manager at Deschutes County Health Services. “So we would love to see that change.”

“Our local jail does an amazing job at trying to keep folks that should be there because of mental health conditions out of jails. But you know, it still happens, and we want to provide a place for law enforcement to bring folks that need to come there.”

The facility will also help with crisis work the county is already doing.

“We’re recentering that at this new facility so that we have both people to drop in services, for people to be brought in by law enforcement or the current people we are serving,” said Commissioner Phil Henderson. “So it really becomes a center, a crisis stabilization center for all groups.”

The expected cost to remodel an existing structure will be up to $2 million and the annual cost to run the new facility will be $2 million as well.

Some of the funds will come from grants, some from crisis work the county is already doing, and officials are working on getting the rest from community partners.

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