Originally Published: July 12, 2018 6:03 a.m.
The Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) in Prescott Valley has now served more than 2,800 people since opening June 21, 2017. The program is part of the continuum of health care offered by the nonprofit West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, and was identified by clinic and community partners years ago as a critical need. Of this total, law enforcement has dropped off almost 400 patients — patients who might otherwise been taken to the emergency room or even jail.
The CSU is divided into three sectors, the front being the outpatient and intake area; the center consisting of 10 chairs allowing for stays of up to 24 hours, and eight beds in the rear for longer stays that are averaging three days currently. There is a separate entrance for law enforcement and ambulances.
“The work done at our CSU makes a huge difference, not only to the patients that we serve, but to their families and to the community,” said Shawn K. Hatch, LCSW, CCS, AADC, Chief Clinical Officer for WYGC. “The comments and feedback that I hear from the community are consistently positive. Due to the dedication of our staff members, lives have been significantly changed for the better.”
The mother of one female adult CSU client took the time to share her gratitude last week: “My daughter felt like she was a person and that her feelings mattered, with her short stay at the CSU. She will be completing an intake to continue services with the Clinic. Thank You.”
“We had multiple goals when we envisioned a crisis center, starting with providing better care for those in immediate need,” said Laura Norman, Chief Development and Communication Officer for WYGC. “But the CSU is also intended to divert people away from jail when the most effective approach is really to get them help. Also, it is designed to divert people from local emergency rooms when that level of care is not really in line with patient need. The data tell us that these goals are being achieved.”
Someone experiencing a mental health, or drug- or alcohol-related crisis can come to the CSU at 8655 E. Eastridge Drive, Prescott Valley. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They shouldn’t be hesitant due to cost, because all Arizonans have a limited crisis benefit whether rich or poor. Or call 877-756-4090 to speak with a crisis counselor.
To learn about clinic services, including a video tour of the CSU, go to wygc.org. To learn about educational and stigma reduction efforts, and to make a tax-deductible donation in support of this and other behavioral health initiatives, go to wygcfoundation.org
“Many community partners, including foundations, governmental entities and individuals, have provided financial support for the CSU,” continued Norman. “This support makes a statement regarding the importance of having an alternative to jail or emergency rooms for people in need of behavioral health treatment. We thank these supporters, and want them to be aware that their gifts are very much in action within this community.”