Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Dane County Announces New Partnership to Improve Mental Health Emergency Care

October 12, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive


Dane County Launches New Crisis Care Facilities with Mental Health Center of Dane County and Tellurian


Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today the county is partnering with the Mental Health Center of Dane County Inc. and Tellurian UCAN Inc. to open a pair of new facilities that will improve care for people with mental health emergencies.

Falk made the announcement at the site of one of the new 24-hour mental health crisis care stabilization centers, located at the Mental Health Center of Dane County.  This new facility will be called Bayside Place, and will be located at 702 West Main Street in Madison.  The Tellurian Center is at 300 Femrite Drive.  Both will help meet a growing need for services for those with the most critical mental health needs.

“These community-based treatment centers are a smarter, better way to treat those having a mental health crisis,” Falk said.  “We will now be able to make sure people experiencing mental health emergencies get the help they need without using hospital emergency rooms and costly institutions like Mendota.”

These new care centers have a combined 20 beds (12 at Bayside Place, 8 at Tellurian) and be designed for people at risk of psychiatric hospitalization ranging from a few days to a few weeks. 

These new centers will not only improve care and allow people to be treated in a more community-based setting, but they will also help save tax dollars.  Currently, when law enforcement encounters those with emergent mental health needs, those individuals are taken to local hospital emergency rooms and some are eventually transferred to stay at the state’s Mendota Mental Health Institute.  Housing individuals at that facility costs county taxpayers up to $1,200 a day per bed.  

“Bayside Place will help alleviate some of the stress on hospital emergency rooms,” William Greer, CEO of the Mental Health Center of Dane County said.  “Area emergency rooms are not set-up to serve persons experiencing an acute psychotic crisis.”

The new care center facilities are being paid for through a combination of local and federal funding sources totaling around $1.45-million.  The county’s share of around $161,000 helps bring in the other sources of funding.

Development of these new centers was one of the recommendations made by a group of local health care leaders, human services providers, and law enforcement that County Executive Falk convened in 2009.  That group, the Health Council Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Task Force, worked to identify strategies to address the increasing demands and costs that stem from caring for citizens in crisis with severe mental health challenges.

The new center at Tellurian will open around the end of this month.  Bayside Place at the Mental Health Center of Dane County should be open in early 2011.