Mental Health Crisis Services Expand in East Tennessee

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | 04:39 pm

NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities announces the opening of a crisis stabilization unit in Knoxville. The CSU will provide 24-hour, 7 days a week, short-term stabilization services for individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues and serve residents of 14 counties including Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Union, Roane, Sevier, and Scott. The Helen Ross McNabb Center will operate the first CSU in Knoxville.

Crisis stabilization units provide assessment, triage, medication management, and group and individual therapy as well as an appointment for clients to work with a wellness recovery consumer specialist. CSUs are cost effective by offering intensive, 24-hour mental health treatment in a less restrictive setting than a psychiatric hospital or other treatment resource.

“It is important that individuals have appropriate care in the least restrictive environment possible,” stated TDMHDD Commissioner Virginia Trotter Betts. “CSUs are structured to stabilize individuals experiencing mental health and substance abuse issues and strengthen clients’ own coping skills while allowing them to remain in the community close to their essential support system.”

“A main goal of the CSU is to divert clients, when clinically appropriate, from psychiatric inpatient hospitalizations and unnecessary incarcerations stemming from their behavioral health conditions,” said Cindra Jones, TDMHDD Director of Crisis Services. “The staff of Helen Ross McNabb is trained to provide the best care possible to residents of Knoxville and surrounding areas in need of these crucial services.”

There are currently crisis stabilization units operating in Nashville, Chattanooga, Cookeville and Jackson. In addition to Knoxville, other CSUs will soon open in Memphis and Johnson City in 2009.

The Knoxville CSU, located at 5310 Ball Camp Pike, began providing services on Monday, February 9, 2009. For information contact the Helen Ross McNabb Center at (865) 637-9711.

For more information on CSU’s or additional mental health and substance abuse information, please contact TDMHDD’s Office of Communications at (615) 253-4812 or visit www.state.tn.us/mental.

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