FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, October 4, 2021

Governor Ivey Announces the Fourth Mental Health Crisis Center

The Alabama Department of Mental Health Continues Expansion of Crisis Care

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey and Commissioner Kimberly Boswell of the Alabama Department of Mental Health are proud to announce the awardee of a fourth crisis center, a vital addition to the Alabama Crisis System of Care. The center will serve individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders, expanding access to care more broadly than ever before. The provider and location of the fiscal year 2022 Crisis Center is Jefferson, Blount, St. Clair (JBS) Mental Health Authority in Birmingham.

“The Ivey Administration is fully committed to addressing the very real challenges in the area of mental health care. This is critical, and should not be overlooked, which is why it remains of high importance in my agenda,” said Governor Ivey. “I am proud to award the JBS Mental Health Authority this fourth crisis center in Birmingham. These centers will go a long way in improving mental health care in Alabama.”

The current Crisis Centers are located at AltaPointe Health in Mobile, WellStone in Huntsville, and the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority in Montgomery. The state’s first three Crisis Centers were awarded funding in October 2020 and have been operational since May 2021.

Commissioner Boswell said, “Crisis Centers are a crucial element of an integrated system of care. This award demonstrates the commitment of the local community to form and strengthen partnerships. The addition of the fourth Crisis Center, in one of the most populated metropolitan areas in the state, brings vital and necessary crisis services in an expanded and more accessible form.”

Crisis Centers are a designated place for community members, law enforcement, and first responders to take an individual who is in mental health crisis. Crisis Centers offer both walk-in access and the capacity for first responders and law enforcement to transfer individuals to the center for crisis care for a warm hand-off to Crisis Center staff, short-term admission, medication management, and case management. Services also include critical crisis intervention and stabilization services, discharge planning and connections to ongoing behavioral health care services, if needed.

In the 2020 and 2021 legislative sessions, Governor Ivey prioritized establishing a mental health crisis continuum of care, with efforts in the Alabama Legislature led by House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter. The initial three Crisis Centers were funded with an $18 million appropriation in the FY2021 General Fund budget, with continuation funding secured in the FY2022 General Fund. The fourth Crisis Center is funded through a new budget appropriation of $6 million approved by the Alabama Legislature. All Crisis Center funds were awarded through a Request for Information and competitive Request for Proposal evaluation and selection process.

To learn more, please visit Alabama Department of Mental Health Alabama Crisis System of Care webpage.