DuPage County Health Department gets funding for new Crisis Recovery Center

Rendering of proposed DuPage County Health Department Crisis Recovery Center
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The DuPage County Board voted on Tuesday to provide funding for the DuPage County Health Department’s (DCHD) proposed 33,000-square-foot Crisis Recovery Center (CRC).

About the new Crisis Recovery Center

The $25.8 million CRC will be connected to the Linda A. Kurzawa Community Center, located at 115 N. County Farm Road in Wheaton.

The new space will allow the DCHD to expand its mental health offerings, and better help those in crisis.

“This historic investment will improve access to much-needed mental health and substance use treatment services for those in our community who need them most,” said Deborah Conroy, DuPage County Board Chair in a news release from the DuPage County Board. “We will work to prioritize mental health services and ensure this center is one of the best and most efficient mental health facilities in the state and the nation.”

The new facility will become a “crisis services hub for all Health Department behavioral health crisis services,” according to the news release.

Adults, children, and adolescents will all be served, with needs assessed and triaged accordingly, connecting clients to needed services and community resources. It will offer an alternative to hospital emergency departments.

Staff will include emergency services counselors, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, case managers, and engagement specialists.

Its design and development are being formulated in collaboration with a number of community stakeholders including the DCHD, elected officials, mental health and substance use providers, municipalities, first responders, and the judicial system.

Expanding behavioral health system within the county

The new center is part of the DCHD’s efforts to increase the behavioral health system within the county, to make sure all residents have “someone to call, someone to respond, and somewhere to go,” if they find themselves in the middle of a mental health or substance abuse crisis.

“The Crisis Recovery Center will create a new pathway for crisis services and ensure individuals experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis receive immediate help, the proper level of support and linkage to the appropriate treatment setting,” said Karen Ayala, outgoing Executive Director of DuPage County Health Department.

Funding for the CRC

$15.3 million for the project will come from American Rescue Plan Act funds, with $5.5 million from the state’s Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan funds.

The remaining $5 million to fund the CRC will come from the DuPage County Health Department. $1 million of that is a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which was secured by U.S. Congressman Sean Casten.

When will the CRC be completed?

Groundbreaking for the CRC is roughly set for the spring of 2024, with an opening date anticipated in summer of 2025.

Image courtesy: Handout, DCHD

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