National Leader in Behavioral Health Crisis Care Selected to Plan Dane County Mental Health Triage and Restoration Center

June 10, 2021
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823
County Executive

Today, County Executive Joe Parisi announced Dane County has selected Recovery Innovations (RI) to assess and develop a plan to establish Dane County’s Mental Health Triage and Restoration Center. Once operational, this Center will help divert those with behavioral health challenges from the criminal justice system and other restrictive settings and further extend recovery services available in the Dane County community.

“We are excited to take this next step in establishing a triage and restoration center to better support Dane County residents and address their needs,” said County Executive Parisi. “Through this contract, we will be able to assess how to best serve the Dane County community and improve outcomes related to mental and behavioral health crises.”

Even with substantial annual investment in mental illness and addiction services—totaling almost $65 million per year—the community and law enforcement is many times left with only two options: jail or the emergency room. A triage and restoration center provides an alternative to the justice system for the community to use as a response to individuals in a behavioral health-related crisis. It is generally grounded in the concept of “no wrong door” and individuals can access services by walking in, a referral from a community partner, or be brought by law enforcement.

“NAMI is glad to be a partner in this important work and thanks Dane County for their continued investment in behavioral health services for people in crisis. We can and will do better by exploring options to continuously improve, and we’re excited about the possibilities for a triage center,” said Anna Moffit, Executive Director of NAMI Dane County.

Recovery Innovations will conduct a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analysis of Dane County’s current resources and conditions for crisis intervention and jail diversion. A comparative analysis of best practices, models, and recommendations for the Center will also be carried out.

Recovery Innovations will assess how the Center can best:

  • serve as a jail diversion by accepting and safely managing referrals by law enforcement for individuals who are believed to have urgent mental health or substance use issues
  • assess and address the immediate behavioral health needs of the individuals referred, provide stabilization, and link the individual with on-going services and supports
  • admit individuals on a voluntary or involuntary basis for a time period as determined by medical or health professionals
  • serve as a resource for individuals and families seeking assistance in dealing with behavioral health issues
  • address the disparate impact of the criminal justice system on those who are members of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities

When complete, Recovery Innovations will provide a detailed implementation plan for the Mental Health Triage and Restoration Center that includes recommended programming specifically configured to meet the needs of Dane County and is able to be integrated into Dane County’s continuum of crisis care.

“RI International is honored by the opportunity to support Dane County in transforming the way individuals experiencing mental health and substance use crisis are engaged in this community,” said RI International CEO David Covington. “We look forward to partnering with the County and community stakeholders to solidify a true roadmap to a stronger system that works for everyone.”

Recovery Innovations is a national thought leader on crisis systems, behavioral health, and suicide prevention. The organization’s crisis programs are located in Arizona, California, Delaware, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Washington state and include Recovery Response Centers (Crisis Stabilization Programs), Evaluation and Treatment Centers (Involuntary and Court-Ordered treatment), and Crisis Respites. The programs are aligned with the Crisis Now model for exceptional practices for crisis stabilization programs with a focus on trauma-informed care, significant use of peer staff, and collaboration with law enforcement and first responders.  Recovery Innovations was also a contributor to SAMHSA’s National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care Best Practices Toolkit.

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