St. Tammany Parish Marks Milestone as Louisiana’s First Crisis Receiving Center Begins to Take Shape
Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, hosted dignitaries from the White House, the U.S. Senate, the Louisiana Legislature, and the Archdiocese of New Orleans, for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Crisis Receiving Center on the Safe Haven Campus in the Mandeville Area. The Crisis Receiving Center is the anchor of the Safe Haven Campus. This 24-bed, integrated, multi-agency facility will include, or have a direct connection to: a sobering room, a psychiatric observation room /respite center, healing services, outpatient treatment services, primary care, housing related resources, and intensive as well as acute services. Patients will either walk in, be dropped off by law enforcement, or transported from the emergency room, and then go through an assessment to receive the specialized care they need. They will then be guided to the best place for care for their specific need, within the center, or through an outside resource.
“This is a remarkable day for St. Tammany, and our entire region. Safe Haven is a unique investment in our future, because our elected officials, healthcare providers, first responders, non-profit organizations, and countless other agencies are working collaboratively to make this vision a reality. We are combining resources so every agency can focus on their field of expertise to provide healing to those who need it,” Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President said. “We look forward to the day —soon — when these doors open and people who struggle with behavioral health issues have access to streamlined care no matter where they are in their mental health journey. Safe Haven will serve St. Tammany Parish, and also strive to implement examples of best practices for other communities within Louisiana, and across the United Sates to replicate. Most importantly, we know that physical and mental well-being of our residents — our neighbors, friends and family — is the cornerstone of a healthy community.”
“While the addiction crisis continues to take too many lives, we are making progress in getting more help to those who need it. Today was an incredibly special day because it means more family members, friends, and neighbors right here in Louisiana will have the opportunity to get their lives back,” said James Carroll, Director, U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. “By working with true leaders like Senator Kennedy, and those on the frontlines of this fight, the Trump Administration will continue to be relentless in our efforts to save lives.”
“It’s no secret that we have a drug problem in this country that is destroying families. All too often, mental illness is at the root of an addiction,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Drug Czar Carroll is committed to helping us resolve this problem as a nation. Safe Haven is a candle of hope in the battle against mental illness and addiction. This is a fight that we have to win.”
The goal of Safe Haven is to create a high-quality, coordinated, sustainable and humane network of behavioral healthcare anchored in St. Tammany Parish. The Crisis Receiving Center is housed in a Parish-Owned building on the site of the former 293-acre Southeast Hospital campus, which was purchased by St. Tammany Parish Government in 2015. St. Tammany Parish Government’s local Public Health Millage, as well as BP Funds, were utilized for the for the planning, construction and renovation for the next phases of the Safe Haven Campus, including the Crisis Receiving Center. Renovations are expected to be complete in late 2019. Officials expect to open the Crisis Receiving Center upon completion of the renovations. In 2019, the State Bond Commission approved $500,000 in State Capital Outlay funding which will be used to construct a Training and Education Center, to further expand services on the Safe Haven Campus.
Noted speakers at the groundbreaking included: Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President; James Carroll, Director, U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy; John Kennedy, U.S. Senator; and Jack Donahue, Louisiana State Senator, Chairman of Safe Haven Foundation. The Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans delivered the Invocation and the Benediction.
In 2015 Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced her administration’s vision of developing a comprehensive system of behavioral health care in St. Tammany. Safe Haven will provide a collaborative healing environment for the behavioral health continuum by creating a high-quality, coordinated, sustainable and humane network of care anchored in St. Tammany Parish. The Safe Haven facility will serve as a comprehensive multi- faceted program and a “single point of entry” into the Behavioral Health continuum of care for law enforcement, the judiciary and local area hospitals. To sign up for updates on the progress of Safe Haven visit www.safehavenstp.org.