County Mental Health Center expands extended stay care options

The creation of the Guilford County Behavioral Health Center has been a long process of collaboration between Guilford County, Cone Health and the Sandhills Center and on Monday August 1 the center announced it was expanding the service with the adding 16 longer-term crisis care beds meant providing “an immediate and safe place of observation and care for adults with significant mental and emotional health care needs”.

The center was designed to be a “no false door” central location to help people with mental health or addiction issues. It opened just over a year ago and has been providing 24/7 care ever since.

On Monday, the chairman of the board of commissioners, Skip Alston, said in a prepared statement that the center is doing a great job and that these additional longer-term beds, for people aged 18 and over, will help move the cause.

“Guilford County Behavioral Health Emergency Care has served thousands of residents in mental or behavioral health crisis with compassionate, immediate and confidential care since opening in 2021 – but sometimes those needs are more complex and last for the beyond the initial symptoms,” Alston said.

He added that the new, longer-term beds in the same building would allow patients to continue their recovery without having to leave the county or their local support system.

Guilford County Behavioral Health Center director Debra Mack said the new 16-bed adult crisis care beds will allow the facility to “deepen services” at the site.

The Guilford County Behavioral Health Center is now the first in North Carolina to offer emergency and crisis behavioral health care in one location, while also offering medical screenings for conditions such as diabetes and asthma.

Many other behavioral care facilities do not accept patients who need both behavioral and medical care.

In addition to the 16 beds for adults 18 and older that just opened, a second on-campus facility operated by Alexander Youth Network includes a 16-bed crisis center that provides extended care for adolescents.

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