Mental Health Crisis Care Center breaks ground for University of Utah

Last week, the University of Utah and Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Mental Health Crisis Care Center on the future site of the HMHI Campus of Hope.

 

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The center will be used to provide emergency mental and behavioral health services to the community at no cost. 

Michael Good, MD, interim president at the University of Utah and CEO of University of Utah Health, said:

“The new Mental Health Crisis Care Center represents the commitment of the state of Utah, Salt Lake County, South Salt Lake, the University of Utah, and the other donor community all working together for individuals facing a mental health crisis. Together, we will develop a center where people experiencing a psychiatric emergency will be treated efficiently and with dignity.”

The HMHI Campus of Hope will be a multi-phase campus to expand HMHI and assist the community and students. The Mental Health Crisis Care Center will be the first building on campus, which is set to be completed in late 2023. 

The facility will be at 1000 W 3300 S, South Salt Lake, UT 84119, which is in between a local jail and a homeless shelter. According to Mark Rapaport, this placement is ideal due to the increased number of mental and behavioral health crisis patients who find themselves in jails and an increased number of homeless people with mental and behavioral health issues. 

“As we know, jails right now are the largest in-patient mental health facilities in the country. And as we also know, the majority of people who are homeless also have a co-occurring mental disorder. So what this facility will allow us to do is be located where some of the people in greatest need are.”

The facility will have 30 beds for 23-hour stays to treat and stabilize. During that time, patients will receive assessment and be directly connected to the next level of care needed. For less distressed patients, outpatient treatment and connections to counseling will be provided. 

The facility will also have 24 individual inpatient rooms for those in need of longer stays. 

Law enforcement, fire and EMS can send mental and behavioral health cases to the facility where patients can be properly treated for their crisis. According to HMHI, this will lead to less jail time and emergency room visits for patients. 

Rapaport said:

“The opening of the Mental Health Crisis Care Center allows us to continuously study, evolve, and improve crisis services. This critical community resource will unify services for people and their families and be a space for healing. Its unique design will be a model for the future of mental health crisis care and an example for other communities to emulate.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).