RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA) – The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is seeking funding for a crisis stabilization unit in Rapid City. As of October 2020, the cost of construction was estimated at four and a half million dollars. With the rise in prices nationally and locally, that number now exceeds just over six million, leading the sheriff’s office to seek further help.
Rapid City City Council agreed to spend $ 500,000 on the project yesterday (Monday).
Right now, if anyone is having a mental or behavioral health crisis in the Western Hills. They could have to travel hundreds of miles to Yankton for help, or a five-hour drive from Rapid City.
For the past decade, the state’s goal has been to have regional facilities so people can stay close to home when they are in crisis.
Barry Tice, Pennington County Director of Health and Social Services, said: “Talking about services and access to services is also family support systems and these are the relationships they have. “
Plans are underway for a Crisis Stabilization Unit located right here in Rapid City.
“It may become one of the first stops for law enforcement to bring people in,” Tice explains.
The Crisis Care Center receives between 1,500 and 2,000 people per year and, “With the addition of the Crisis Stabilization Unit, I would expect that number to increase dramatically,” Tice says.
The objective is to offer better adapted and sometimes longer-term care to individuals.
“The Crisis Care Center currently serves people within 24 hours. This facility will allow individuals to stay for up to 5 days, ”explains Tice.
The tender for the Crisis Stabilization Unit has been awarded and they expect to innovate behind the Care Campus from this fall. Tice says they hope “It’s a better way to take care of people locally. ”
Sitting someone in a car and being transported five hours away, sometimes just to sober up during the drive and come back right away, is just not doable for the police or the citizen.
“Anytime we can avoid sending people to Yankton, that’s the goal. So if you can provide the right services within this facility, we don’t need to use Yankton. We so often rely on law enforcement to be social workers, social service experts, addiction experts, ”says Tice.
He says this only uses resources and the Crisis Stabilization Unit will help eliminate this need and encourage people to come without police intervention.
“Save resources and save lives,” says Tice, “it should be written on the back of the t-shirt. “
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