FORT SMITH, AR (KAIT) - The first of four Crisis Stabilization Units opened Wednesday in Northwest Arkansas as officials there hosted a ribbon cutting for the center.
The center in Sebastian County opened in Fort Smith, with three others in Craighead, Pulaski, and Washington counties set to open later this year. In a statement, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the CSU's will help people in need, who are facing a major problem in their life.
"The CSU provides an alternative to jail when someone appears to be in a mental-health crisis," Gov. Hutchinson said. "Before today, law enforcement officers generally had only one option when dealing with a person who was a threat to others or to himself. But an arrest isn't always the best option. Now officers have a place to take someone where people are trained to recognize and treat behavioral-health issues."
In addition to the CSUs, the $6.4 million project will also help train police officers in crisis intervention as well as provide screening tools to determine the mental health needs in jails as well as helping people get treatment.