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'We never turn anyone away': Free crisis support available in Boise

Pathways of Idaho Community Crisis Center has helped 1,100 people so far this year.

BOISE, Idaho — If you are in crisis you don't always have to go to the emergency room. There are several crisis centers in our area that can help, including Pathways of Idaho Community Crisis Center.

"Our crisis center has been open for about three years now," said Chris Christopher, director of business development and marketing for Pathways. "We never turn anyone away. The crisis center is free to anyone 18 or older."

So far this year, according to Christopher, the nonprofit has helped about 1,100 people.

"A lot of it is folks experiencing depression and anxiety," he said. "One in six coming through our facility presented with some kind of suicidal ideation so we're really fortunate to be able to provide a direct service, immediate service, for folks with those types of things."

He added that they also see a lot of people with co-occurring issues.

"So folks that are experiencing mental health and substance abuse challenges," Christopher said. "I think especially now during the pandemic folks are gravitating towards substance abuse."

Here's what happens once someone arrives at the crisis center seeking help:

"We screen everyone before they come into our facility and once they're screened and pass they meet with our medical staff to make sure they're medically stable to stay in our facility," Christopher said. "After that they'll work with one of our counselors or social workers. The great thing about the crisis center is you get real time access to behavioral health care, so we have counselors and social workers on staff so you can meet with someone right away."

After going through that process, case managers meet with the person and figure out their immediate needs. Then, they link them with community members that can continue helping.

"Our case managers do a really good job figuring out what the community has to offer," Christopher said. "Putting a puzzle together for folks that come through in crisis."

Pathways operates on a state grant which was cut by 50% this year. Christopher says they have several great partnerships, but could always use more assistance.

"We try to kinda turn over every rock to get funds, but we really need our community to come together and figure out a way where we can get the other 50% sustainably so we can be full capacity," Christopher said. 

Pathways of Idaho Community Crisis Center is located at 7192 Potomac Drive in Boise and can be reached by calling 1-833-5-CRISIS (27-4747).

The organization works closely with the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, which conducts follow-up calls to check in on those who sought services at the crisis center.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, Idaho has a crisis hotline that can be reached at any time by calling 211. The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is also available to help and can be reached at 208-398-4357.

Visit KTVB’s Hello Idaho page for more resources regarding mental health.

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