BOISE, Idaho — Emergency phone calls involving someone in a mental health crisis have risen more than 3% in Boise in the last year, according to new statistics released by the Boise Police Department.
"Our biggest calls for service increase are around mental health in the last five years," said Boise Police Chief Bill Bones.
And while that increase may not sound significant, it's resulted in a notable increase of patients seeking help at Treasure Valley treatment centers.
"We are almost always full at 16 beds and we generally always have a waiting list," said Heidi Hart, CEO of Terry Reilly Health Services. "The waiting list is typically up to a dozen people that are trying to get in on any given day."
Terry Reilly oversees the Allumbaugh House, a treatment center for those experiencing a mental health crisis, whether it's related to drug use or other diagnoses.
"We are one of the few facilities like this in the country where we bridge mental health and substance abuse needs and operate as a short-term stay," Hart said.
Patients can stay at the Allumbaugh House for up to a week. It’s the only place where people can get this type of treatment and stay longer than 24 hours - free of charge.
"That also puts strain on the system to make sure that the resources are there to help people," Hart said.
The Allumbaugh House only takes patients from Ada, Boise, Valley, and Elmore counties.
But the need is state-wide.
"To be able to have a resource like that in Canyon County would be fabulous because the community is growing, and the needs are here," Hart said.
Hart hopes funding for more resources like the Allumbaugh House will eventually catch up with the growing population.
"Those are folks in the community who are trying to access services we can’t provide care for," Hart said.