State's NW crisis unit gets 21 referrals in July, admits 7

County judge says he's pleased with increasing use of CSU

By Tom Sissom
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

SPRINGDALE -- The Northwest Arkansas Crisis Stabilization Unit had 21 people referred to it in July, and seven were admitted for treatment, officials were told Thursday.

"We feel that is in line with what the other CSUs were seeing across the state," Kristen McAllister, director of crisis stabilization services, said Thursday.

McAllister is with Ozark Guidance Center, which provides professional staff and is in charge of the daily operation of the crisis unit.

McAllister gave the first monthly report on the unit to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, which oversees the operation. The 16-bed unit opened at the end of June. The committee also has been asked to study and evaluate the Washington County criminal justice system.

Fourteen of the people referred to the unit were from local law enforcement agencies and seven were referred by the Community Mental Health Center, according to the report.

The individuals admitted were a cross-section of the community and had a range of issues, according to the report. She said six of the people referred but not admitted were behaviorally unstable or presented a danger to themselves or others. Those people were advised to seek more acute care services.

Of the four men and three women who were admitted, McAllister said, four were deemed to be suicidal and one deemed to be self-harmful.

The average length of stay for those admitted was 44.6 hours, according to the report. The program is designed to house people for no more than 72 hours, McAllister said, but under some circumstances, people can stay as long as 96 hours.

One person who was admitted checked out after about 1½ hours, she said. The program is voluntary and people admitted can leave at any time. READ MORE.

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