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Crisis Stabilazation Unit Opens In Jonesboro, Serves 13 Counties

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

A crisis stabilization unit is now open in northeast Arkansas.  The center is one of four in the state that are designed to provide mental health services to those who need it.  It takes the place of incarcerating those who have mental illnesses.  Governor Asa Hutchinson pledged one-point-six million dollars in start-up funding for the facility, with the Craighead County Quorum Court and other sponsors making up the rest.  Hutchinson says officers are going through 40-hours of training to help those who are in need.

“This is the foundation for everything we are trying to accomplish in public safety when it coincides with mental helath problems.  Without this we can’t be successful in identifying the needs of our society and keeping our society safe at the same time,” said Hutchinson. 

The crisis stabilization unit is located next to the Craighead County Detention Center.  Mid-South Health Systems will operate the 16-bed facility. Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd says the plans for this have been in the works for the past four years.  Boyd says he is excited about the unit opening.

“We can see someone who has an illness and step in front and make a difference in someone’s life.  We can do the moral thing and get them treatment and get them diagnosed, instead of incarcerating them and charging them time and time again,” said Boyd. 

The facility will serve 13 counties in the region.  Clients will have a one to four day window to receive immediate care and stabilization.  Hutchinson provided one-point-six million dollars for the start-up funding of the center.