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Crisis stabilization centers

Crisis stabilization centers provide short-term access to emergency psychiatric services for individuals experiencing crisis. These centers often provide constant supervision throughout a person’s stay. Some centers provide care for less than 24 hours, while others provide short-term residential stabilization services. Policies are established that enable law enforcement officers to efficiently transport people in need to the center in lieu of arrest or hospitalization.

For more information on this intervention, see these resources:

Local Examples

Pima County, AZ Crisis Response Center (CRC) and Tucson Police Department

  • The CRC provides 24/7 access to emergency psychiatric and substance addiction treatment services.
  • The center has a secure, separate entrance for law enforcement to bring people to treatment rather than to the jail, hospital, or other facilities.
  • The center strives to keep check-in time under seven minutes so that law enforcement can return to the field as quickly as possible.
For more information on this example, see these resources:

Madison County, TN Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) and Madison County Sheriff's Office

  • The CSU provides 24/7 access to emergency psychiatric and substance addiction treatment services.
  • Officers can determine whether to transport people directly to the CSU or contact the mobile crisis unit for assistance.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Chatham County, GA Chatham County Behavioral Health Crisis Center

  • The Chatham County Behavioral Health Crisis Center is operated by Gateway Community Services, a public community-based organization that serves eight Georgia counties. The Crisis Center is a 24-hour walk-in psychiatric emergency service with six 24-hour observation beds. It offers peer support, counseling, triage, and medications. It also provides treatment and connection to the community outpatient service or admission to inpatient care as needed.
  • The Savannah Police Department’s Behavioral Health Unit works in partnership with Chatham County Behavioral Health Crisis Center to connect Savannah and Chatham County residents to resources.
  • The Center does not require insurance. Medicaid and Medicare are accepted.

Athens County, OH Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center

  • The Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, its local community-based partners, the 21-county region’s behavioral health authorities, and National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio developed the Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center to provide residential rehabilitation services after inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. Since the center was established, forensic stays in the state hospital have decreased, and its patients have high achievements in stable housing after discharge.
  • The center, locally called “Respite,” can receive people who are diverted from jail. Staff are well versed in community-based services and housing, reducing homelessness upon discharge.

Lucas County, OH Zepf Center

  • The Lucas County Crisis, Access, Recovery, and Engagement (CARE) Center is a pilot program operated by the Zepf Center, a community-based provider. The CARE Center provides a safe and supportive environment for people in crisis who have mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders.
  • Upon identifying an individual in need of short-term immediate intervention, a law enforcement officer transports the individual to the CARE Center rather than booking them into jail.
  • The CARE Center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and services provided include rapid intake; ongoing monitoring by a peer supporter or social worker for a maximum of 23 hours; referral, linkage, and time-limited support for individuals who want to connect with substance use treatment providers for assessment services; and transportation upon exit when appropriate.

Marin County, CA Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

  • The Marin County Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) provides services to Marin County residents and visitors experiencing a mental health crisis, such as suicidal depression or psychotic behavior.
  • The CSU is open 24/7 and has 6 client rooms with a total of 10 beds to serve youth and adults in psychiatric crisis. (Per California Department of Health Care Services certification requirements, CSUs provide care for up to 24 hours.)
  • Services provided include crisis stabilization; evaluation; referrals to community-based service agencies; and linkages for clients to family partners.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Douglas County, KS Treatment and Recovery Campus

  • As part of the Douglas County Treatment and Recovery Campus, the Treatment and Recovery Center provides services to adults and children with serious mental illness and substance use disorders who are experiencing a crisis.
  • Patients at the Treatment and Recovery Center move through the following three stages:
    • The access center is the entry point for services. There, people receive an initial assessment and further evaluation.
    • Patients then enter the 23-hour observation unit, which is staffed by behavioral health professionals who stabilize patients while working on a treatment and recovery plan with them.
    • Behavioral health professional staff include mental health professionals, peer support specialists, behavioral health technicians, licensed addiction staff, case managers, and psychiatric professionals.
    • Lastly, in the stabilization unit, patients recover for up to several days while receiving a treatment and recovery plan.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

DuPage County, IL

  • DuPage County’s Crisis Center, centrally located at a local community center, is a 12-bed facility that offers crisis residential services 24/7 to all county residents 18 years or older, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
  • Services provided include case management, individual and group therapy, integrated assessment and treatment planning, and psychiatric evaluation.
For more information on this example, see this resource:



1 - Reduce bookings into jail
3 - Increase connection to treatment

Last updated: November 7, 2022