Polk County looks into mental health crisis center

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Polk County wants to open a mental health crisis center that supporters say would be the first of its kind in Iowa.

The center would focus on people that have mental health issues but don't need hospitalization and shouldn't be taken to jail. They would be helped for up to 23 hours.

The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1enqpB2 ) The county wants to start the center, which doesn't have a location yet, by the end of June.

Lynn Ferrell, the top health administrator for Polk County, says it would cost about $1 million per year to run the center and it would be paid for by state and county tax money. But he says the center would save money that would otherwise be spent on hospital treatment or jail time.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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