POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Less than a year ago, southeast Idaho didn't have a resource like the South East Idaho Behavioral Crisis Center. Now, its success is paving the way to a stronger community.
“They just find that there’s a place that they can go to that is safe… It’s been a great benefit to our community,” said Ernie Moser, a Bannock County Commissioner who serves on the crisis center's board.
The center's second quarterly report shows it's been a success. In fact, every patient who took an exit survey said they would refer someone to the center, or even come back if they needed to. According to quarterly report, clients had a 94 percent satisfaction rate.
“To get that feedback, means that my staff is doing their job, we’re addressing the issues that we need to that are coming in,” said Matt Hardin, the center's executive director.
The impacts the center has had on local law enforcement have been huge.
“One of the key things is that it takes about 10 minutes for (law enforcement) to drop them off at the crisis center,” Moser said.
That potentially saved law enforcement officers four to six hours every time they would have dropped a person off at the emergency room. Plus, it lifts a burden off emergency rooms and jails, which in Bannock County is typically overcrowded.
“So, just the time savings for law enforcement to drop them off and put them in a safe environment has been a big plus,” Moser said.
The primary reasons people use the facility are for detox and mental health, but without the center, 36 percent of clients would have gone to the hospital and 21 percent would have gone to jail.
“If somebody goes to jail for substance use, they have to sober up, they have to get processed, they have to go through all of those things before they can get out and hopefully get assigned treatment. If they can come here… that time frame from the actual use or crisis to treatment is just a lot shorter,” Hardin said.
Looking ahead, there are some big obstacles for the crisis center. Once Medicaid expansion goes into effect at the start of 2020, large chunks of the Millennium Fund will be moved away from crisis centers to pay for the expansion.
“Being a brand-new facility, that’s a little scary to us. But, on the other hand, we’re going to be able to bill Medicaid for individuals who qualify for Medicaid, so hopefully we can make up that difference,” Moser said.
In the long term, the center's board hopes to make the resource more accessible to surrounding counties. According to the quarterly report, 89 percent of clients were from Bannock County.
“We want to continue to be that service to the community that wasn’t served before, and continue to improve on that,” Moser said.
The 24/7 Crisis Center can be reached at 208-909-5177. More information about the Center can be found here.
In the case of an emergency, call 911 or visit your local emergency room.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Substance abuse - 1-800-622-HELP (4357)
Veterans - www.mentalhealth.va.gov
College students - www.ulifeline.org
LGBTQ - www.thetrevorproject.org
Eating disorders - www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Teen and youth - 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)