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Search for Canyon County crisis center site continues

Idaho Press-Tribune - 6/5/2018

CALDWELL — State funds for three new mental health crisis centers in Idaho become available July 1, but Canyon County health officials are still searching for a location and a behavioral health provider for Region 3’s center.

Nikole Zogg, director of Southwest District Health and a member of the Region 3 crisis center planning committee, said the committee has already turned down donations of two possible locations. The health district is working with a real estate agent to find a Canyon County building with space for at least 20 beds, on a public transit route and with adequate parking.

“We have limited resources to remodel or renovate, so it is important that the space require few modifications,” Zogg said.

Crisis centers are designed as a treatment option for adults experiencing serious mental health issues who would otherwise be arrested or taken to an emergency room. The crisis center planned for Canyon County will receive $200,000 in one-time startup costs, then $1.5 million for two years to cover operations. After that, the center has to come up with a plan to reduce state funding by half and become more self-sustaining.

The Region 3 crisis center — which will be located in the Nampa and Caldwell area — will also serve Adams, Gem, Owyhee, Payette and Washington counties. Canyon County’s crisis center is tentatively scheduled to open December 2018 — although that depends on finding a suitable existing location in time.

In February, the Idaho Press reported county officials were considering the former Saint Alphonsus hospital building on 12th Avenue Road in Nampa. The site had previously been turned down by both the state and Nampa School District. A discovery report paid for by the Nampa School District found that the building renovation would require about $100,000 in asbestos removal.

Addressing mental health needs in rural Idaho

Officials hope the Canyon County-based crisis center will fill a gap for mental health care in rural southwest Idaho. The Region 3 center’s coverage area stretches from Owyhee County to Council in Adams County.

Because Region 3 is spread across such a wide area, state Rep. Rick Younglood, R-Nampa, said the committee briefly considered having short-term crisis care rooms available in local hospitals. The Region 2 crisis center in Lewiston — which received crisis center funding during the 2018 legislative session along with Canyon County and the Pocatello region — is taking this approach, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

Youngblood said the committee instead decided to develop a main location with space for at least 20 beds in the high population center of either Nampa or Caldwell. However, Youngblood said the development of an additional short-term crisis care room in Weiser was a possible solution.

In the May 18 request for proposals for the facility’s behavioral health subcontractor{span}, Southwest District Health specifies the behavior health provider must provide telehealth and remote stabilization services to rural and frontier areas of the region within the first few years, as long as additional funding is secured.

The main location in Canyon County will also need to have easy access to Interstate 84, Zogg said.

“Since we are serving a six-county region,” she said, “it is important that we have easy access for those traveling to the crisis center from outside of Canyon County.”

Beds are made available for clients at Pathways Community Crisis Center in Boise.

Chris Bronson/IPT

Beds are made available for clients at Pathways Community Crisis Center in Boise.

Chris Bronson/IPT

Employees of Pathways Community Crisis Center in Boise converse during some downtime Tuesday afternoon.

Chris Bronson/IPT

Employees of Pathways Community Crisis Center in Boise converse during some downtime Tuesday afternoon.

Chris Bronson/IPT

Nikole Zogg, Southwest District Health

 
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