Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center moves forward

Multnomah County press release, June 18, 2010

Construction on a new facility for people experiencing a mental health crisis will begin this summer after Chair Jeff Cogen signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Multnomah County and the city of Portland. The Board of County Commissioners approved the MOU today which outlines each government’s responsibilities for the project.

“The creation of the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center has been a huge priority for Multnomah County,” Chair Cogen said. “With our funding partners like the state of Oregon, Central City Concern, the Portland Development Commission and the city of Portland, we’re all making a strong statement about our commitment to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

The move by the board dedicates money for the cost of renovations to the building that will house the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center (CATC). The center will be located on the second floor of the David P. Hooper Sobering Center at 20 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Hooper is owned by Central City Concern – a local non-profit organization that specializes in addiction recovery, housing and mental health treatment.

The Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center was initiated in response to a need identified by mental health advocates, consumers and community leaders. The CATC will serve individuals experiencing a mental health crisis who cannot manage their symptoms on their own and who do not need a hospital stay to become stable. The average stay at the CATC will be about four to 14 days.

The secure, locked facility will have staff members who will provide treatment and peers who will help with advocacy and mentoring. Upon leaving the CATC, clients will depart with a plan for follow-up treatment outside the facility and staff will assist them with basic needs support, like finding housing and physical health care.

Under the MOU, the construction will be paid for with $842,000 from the county, $1 million from the state of Oregon, $2 million from city of Portland/Portland Development Commission and New Market Tax Credits. This is in addition to $1 million previously donated by the county for the relocation of the substance abuse detox center. Most of cost to run the CATC will be paid for by clients’ health insurance. The county and the city have agreed to split the remaining gap in annual operating costs.

The facility will fill a gap in the mental health crisis system for consumers, police and other stakeholders.

Other parts of the crisis system include: the county’s Mental Health Call Center (503-988-4888), the Urgent Walk-In Clinic in Southeast Portland (2415 SE 43rd) and Project Respond Mobile Outreach Team. Crisis information in multiple languages can be found on the county’s website.