Open house for new center designed to help those in crisis

MILWAUKEE -- A "Crisis Resource Center" is set to open on Milwaukee's north side -- with a goal of taking the stigma out of mental health issues.

Thursday, August 30th was the open house for the fully-County-funded facility designed to serve adults with mental illness.

"This is going to save us ten-fold. When we're not incarcerating people, when we're not hospitalizing people and allowing families to stay together and allowing people to go to work," Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Romo West said.

The center will take walk-ins and referrals from community-based organizations, as well as those transported by police following a crisis situation. 

 "Our officers don't want to arrest the mentally ill. We want to find them services and they are so seldom available," Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said.

The center, staffed with clinicians, nurses and support specialists is a large, serene place where people in crisis can talk it out, get medications stabilized and find respite -- whether for a few hours or a few days.

"Have that environment where individuals are respecting their recovery, are aware that they can change and are willing to help them with their process," Center Programmer Latrice Hogan said.

Hogan expects the center will serve 1,200 a year once it opens next Tuesday, September 4th. The center has 12 beds, and people can stay for up to a week, if needed.