January 30 2011Meeting separately last week, two behavioral health service providers approved a draft concept to provide medically monitored behavioral health crisis stabilization. The Accreditation Governing Body of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and the Board of Directors of Sitka Counseling and Prevention Services (SCAPS) each approved a conceptual program and will further review the possibility of a joint venture to establish the behavioral health crisis stabilization facility. Staff at SEARHC and Sitka Counseling were asked to further develop a program considering the significant health needs in the region, as well as the financial and legal requirements of jointly operating a program. The facility would be capable of providing medical detoxification and mental health emergency respite services in a free-standing, specialized facility, for more than 300 admissions per year. This would reduce emergency room and hospital admissions, and significantly lower costs, while increasing the engagement of patients in further behavioral health treatment, for improved treatment success. It is estimated the facility would generate nearly $1.2 million in cost savings per year. Most of this saving would directly benefit local health care and local government agencies. For further information, contact Melody Price-Yonts, SEARHC Behavioral Health Division Director at 966-8776, or Fr. Gordon Blue. SCAPS Executive Director, at 747-1430.