CALDWELL, Idaho — Up until this point, people experiencing a mental health crisis have had few options.
"Typically, when people are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis, they end up going to the emergency room," said Nikki Zogg, the Director of Southwest District Health. "Sometimes that is necessary and sometimes it is more than what they need. And sometimes, they end up in law enforcement hands and that's not really the appropriate or best place of care."
On Tuesday, the Western Idaho Community Crisis Center will open its doors to provide temporary behavioral health services to those in need.
The center will be open 24 hours a day, seven days per week and individuals can stay up to 23 hours and 59 minutes. It is free of charge for anyone who is experiencing a mental health crisis.
"We have 10 female and 10 male resting mats, so for anyone who is in need or in crisis this is where they would come, and they would have their own individual mat," said Cristina Froude, the Project Manager for Southwest District Health.
Inside the center there is also a quiet room, living space with TV's, a kitchen area, and a team of staff to provide treatment.
While then center's primary focus it to help people in crisis, Zogg says it will also save the health care systems and taxpayers money.
"Going to the emergency room can cost around $1,200 per day," Zogg said. "If people end up in law enforcement hands, that includes court costs and jail costs, law enforcement time."
The crisis center aims to take the burden off of the community and provide an important resource for people in need.
"We are all just ready for these services for our loved ones and community," Froude said.