Faster care for people in crisis: Plan for a new center in Frederick County

Nearly one in five of the patients who goes to Frederick Health Hospital’s emergency room in Maryland experiences mental health or substance use issues.

In order to reduce the burden on the hospital and get patients the care they need, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced plans for a new “crisis stabilization center” slated to open in 2023.

“We know a crisis stabilization center will save lives,” said Gardner, when she announced the plans on Thursday.

The center would provide immediate, short-term care, and patients would be referred to long-term community-based care.

Shannon Aleshire with Frederick’s Mental Health Association (MHA), which will operate the center under the direction of the local health department, said that people referred to the stabilization center would have access to follow-up services.

“Our goal is not to see the same person over and over again, but to be sure they’re connected throughout the community with the services that they need,” Aleshire said. “Ultimately, the goal is to provide the right level of service when the person needs it.”

The new facility will be housed at the current Board of Elections office in Frederick and will also include walk-in services already provided by MHA.

Funding for the crisis stabilization center is being provided through federal and state grants, totaling $2.5 million as well as money paid by opioid manufacturers as the result of legal settlements. Under those settlement agreements, Frederick County is slated to receive $11.2 million paid out over 18 years.

People could be referred to the center through the MHA’s crisis 211 or 988 hot lines, first responders, community service providers or family members.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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