The need for mental health services in St. Tammany Parish remains substantial. Not only has the statistics confirmed the need for assistance, but more importantly, our loved ones and neighbors continue to struggle.
In October 2021, the Safe Haven Crisis Receiving Center (CRC) officially opened its doors. The CRC, which is designed to provide identification, intervention and stabilization for those in a behavioral health crisis, is the first step towards recovery for our loved ones battling a crisis.
The CRC gives healthcare professionals, law enforcement and families an alternative to the emergency room or jail during a behavioral health crisis.
Start Corporation, who has operated the CRC since its inception, is no longer serving as the operator. At this time, the CRC is temporarily not accepting patients.
In 2021 alone, nearly 5,000 St. Tammany Parish citizens withstood a mental health crisis. 45 loved ones died from suicide. These numbers illustrate the continued need for a CRC within our Parish.
Though we are disappointed Start Corporation will no longer operate the CRC, we will continue working with our partners to identify improvements to our behavioral health system and we look forward to a new beginning.
While we are working through this transitional period with the CRC, the rest of the Safe Haven Campus will remain open and operational. In 2021 approximately 5,830 individuals accessed services on the St. Tammany Campus. Other service providers on the campus include: Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, NAMI St. Tammany and the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.
In the coming days, St. Tammany Parish Government will begin the process to seek out a new operator for the Crisis Receiving Center. We are expecting an expeditious process and look forward to making progress with our new operating partner, which will ultimately save lives in St. Tammany Parish.
MICHAEL B. COOPER