Groundbreaking Ceremony Held For Crisis Treatment Center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Officials broke ground for a new mental health crisis treatment facility. 

Sometimes people suffering from a mental health crisis get taken to jail instead of getting the help they need.

Currently, there are several jail diversion projects underway in Davidson County.

One of them is a Behavioral Health Center that once built in downtown Nashville, will help Davidson County Jail inmates.

There will also be a second treatment facility for non-violent people who fall into police hands.

"Instead of them languishing in jail, instead of waiting days at an emergency room waiting to get into an intake facility, they can come here and be treated immediately," said Adam Graham.

They want to help people suffering from a mental health crisis get better.

"ER's and jails are just not made for the treatment that people desperately need," said Graham.

Metro officials said the facility will help police officers get back on the streets faster too. 

"Our goal is ten minute drop off. For them to come through a secure passageway, tell us what's going on, hand them off to us, and we'll have the staffing and the facility to safely accept them and begin treatment and get police back on the street," said Graham.

The program runs in conjunction with the Davidson County Sheriff's Behavioral Treatment Center at the new jail, but the new crisis center is different. It will help people who are suffering from a mental crisis but haven't committed a crime.

"One of the problems is, we have such a lack of available mental health beds in Middle Tennessee, sometimes it takes two to three days for someone who needs treatment to wait," said Michael Randolph.

Experts hope this will help get down recidivism rates as well.

"That's the goal, it's definitely more proactive treatment instead of a reactive situation," said Randolph.

Randolph said there's not many programs like this in the country; so they hope to be a leader in how cities handle mental health.

"So having a place that provides exactly what people need when they need it could be a game changer for the city of Nashville," said Randolph.

They plan on opening by the end of 2018.

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