FLINT, Michigan—The Hurley Foundation aims to make treating mental illness more efficient and accessible with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Tuuri Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
The grant will aid in the development of a Behavioral Health Emergency Center that will be located on Hurley’s Dutcher building. The Center will act as an Urgent Care Center for mental health where patients will receive community-based, full-service resources for behavioral health crisis issues.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that in 2018 19.1% (47.6 million) of U.S. adults and 16.5% (7.7 million) of youths aged 6-17 were living with mental illness. Of those numbers, only half of the youths received treatment and less than half of the adults. When left untreated or ignored, mental illnesses can create a ripple effect, leading to unemployment, substance abuse, and even suicide.
“This project addresses a huge unmet need in the community. Many areas that have similar needs to Flint and Genesee County have such behavioral health centers available in their community,” said Michael Burnett, vice president of service line development and chief strategy officer of the Hurley Foundation. “In addition to the current situation being costly and inefficient, the use of local hospital emergency rooms to treat behavioral health issues is detrimental to consumers in need of urgent and emergent services.”
The wide range of services expected to be offered at the Behavioral Health Emergency Center includes crisis intervention, stabilization, assessment, shelter placement, and outpatient counseling. The ultimate goal is to either stabilize a patient so they can return to their home-care environment or administer additional treatment as needed in more severe cases.
In a collaborative effort, Genesee Health System will be operating the Behavioral Health Emergency Center program supported by Hurley’s Emergency Department where they plan to assist the needs of the entire community without healthcare discrimination.
“In order to be successful, we believe the center must be available to all consumers (meaning all ages and regardless of insurance coverage) as well as for services to be available 24 hours a day,” said Burnett.
The Behavioral Health Emergency Center is expected to open in April.