New behavioral health crisis centers will fill a gap | St. Louis News Headlines

ST. CHARLES COUNTY ( — New 24-hour behavioral health crisis centers have begun opening across Missouri. Compass Health Network will operate three of the 12 crisis centers scheduled to open.

Jamie Bartin is the organization’s deputy chief clinical officer of access and urgent care services.

“There is a gap for individuals experiencing behavioral health crises that don’t need jail or law enforcement involvement or a hospital emergency room” she said.

Compass Health Network has opened crisis centers in Wentzville and Jefferson City and will open a third in Rolla on Feb. 28.

Bartin said often it’s the police who are called when someone’s having a mental health crisis and they’ve become disruptive or are a threat to themselves or others. But taking them to jail doesn’t solve the crisis and going to a hospital emergency room takes away resources to help someone in a medical emergency.

Sgt. Jacob Schmidt is with the Wentzville Police Department. He said all officers in his department are trained in the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program. And he said the crisis center in Wentzville will give officers another tool for responding to someone in crisis.

“We can identify if this is a crime and the subject needs to go to jail and answer for that. Or if they just need some help and some resources down the road.  Even if it is a crime, we can follow those charges later. But we can get you that mental health that you need now,” he said.

The crisis centers give someone a safe place to get away from their situation and dial down the crisis. They can get something to eat, shower and wash their clothes. And mental health professionals will assess their situation and what led to the crisis. And then a case worker will help a person get connected with services that can help them long term.

The behavioral health crisis centers are an initiative launched by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. There will be one in each of the state’s highway patrol districts.

The crisis center in Wentzville is located in the rear of the Compass Health Network facility at 1032 Crosswinds Court. There are no out-of-pocket costs for a visit to the center. The phone number is 833-356-2427.

Anyone who is having a behavioral health crisis and doesn’t know where to turn is welcome to come to the crisis center for help. The crisis centers will be open 24-yours a day, 7-days a week.

Copyright 2022 KMOV. All rights reserved.

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