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County Executive Parisi Proposes Construction of $10 Million Crisis Triage Center in 2022 Budget

September 27, 2021
County Executive

2022 Budget Initiatives Continue County’s Commitment to Improving Access to Mental & Behavioral Health Services

Today, County Executive Joe Parisi joined mental health advocates and Department of Human Services staff to announce $10 million in funding to construct Dane County’s Crisis Triage Center (CTC), as part of his 2022 budget proposal. This is the single largest item in Parisi’s 2022 capital budget. The one-stop facility will help divert those with behavioral health challenges from the criminal justice system and other restrictive settings and further extend recovery services. To reflect the priority this issue must take now and in the future, County Executive Parisi is also creating a brand new division of county government to oversee its expanding array of innovative behavioral health and mental health initiatives.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the physical health and emotional well-being of far too many in our community. One of the many long-term unknowns from this period of time is what the behavioral health impacts will be for decades to come,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Investing $10 million for site acquisition, planning, and development of the Crisis Triage Center will bolster mental and behavioral health services in our community, keeping people out of the criminal justice system and in services suited to address the barriers they face.”

The facility will become among a handful of such crisis centers in the country dedicated to stabilizing individuals and improving outcomes in a comprehensive manner. Individuals will be able to get help from the CTC by a referral from community partners, being brought in by law enforcement, or walking in themselves. It is Dane County’s most significant initiative to date at improving the community’s behavioral health. Parisi is dedicating an additional $1 million to help meet service and operational needs when the CTC opens.

The new Division of Behavioral Health will become part of Dane County’s Department of Human Services beginning in 2022. Parisi’s 2022 budget includes over $500,000 in funding for a new administrator and staff to get the Behavioral Health Division started. One of the primary initiatives of the county’s Behavioral Health Division will be overseeing development of the new Dane County Crisis Triage Center.

The 2021 budget included $300,000 to plan the CTC. Recovery Innovations is currently conducting a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analysis of Dane County’s current resources and conditions for crisis intervention and jail diversion. A comparative analysis of best practices, models, and recommendations for the facility is also being carried out. When complete, Recovery Innovations will provide a detailed implementation plan for the CTC that includes recommended programming specifically configured to meet the needs of Dane County and is able to be integrated into Dane County’s continuum of crisis care.