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Rapid City Crisis Stabilization Center to break ground this fall, a behavioral health facility for the community

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:02 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Pennington County Sherriff’s Office has been looking to fund a Crisis Stabilization Unit in Rapid City. In October of 2020, the cost of building was projected at four and a half million dollars. With increased prices nationally and locally, that number is now just over six point million, causing the Sherriff’s Office to seek additional help.

Rapid City City Council agreed to put 500-thousand-dollars towards the project yesterday (Monday).

Right now, if someone is experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis in the Western Hills. They could be subject to travelling hundreds of miles to Yankton to receive help, or a five hour drive from Rapid City.

For the last decade, It’s been a goal of the state to have regional facilities so people can stay near their homes when they’re in a state of crisis.

Barry Tice, Pennington County’s Health and Human Services Director, says, “Talk about services and access to services-- it’s also family support systems and they’re relationships that they have.”

The blueprints have been in the works for a crisis stabilization unit located right here in Rapid City.

“This can become one of the first stops for law enforcement to bring individuals,” says Tice.

The Crisis Care Center sees between 1,500 and 2,000 people annually and, “With the addition of the Crisis Stabilization Unit, I would anticipate that number rising substantially,” says Tice.

The goal is to provide better suited, and sometimes, longer-term care for individuals.

“The Crisis Care Center currently serves individuals at less than 24 hours. This facility will allow individuals to stay up to 5 days,” says Tice.

The bid for the Crisis Stabilization Unit has been awarded and they’re expecting to break ground behind the Care Campus beginning this fall. Tice says they’re hoping “It’s a better way to take care of individuals on a local level.”

Having someone sit in a car and be transported five-hours away, sometimes just to sober up on the car ride and come right back, just isn’t feasible for the police or the citizen.

“Anytime we can avoid sending people to Yankton, that’s the goal. So, if you can provide the right services within this facility, then we don’t need to utilize Yankton. We rely so often on law enforcement to be social workers, to be the human services experts, to be the substance abuse experts,” says Tice.

He says that just uses up resources, and the Crisis Stabilization Unit will help to eliminate that need and encourage people to come in without police intervention.

“Saving resources and saving lives,” says Tice, “that should be on the back of the t-shirt.”

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