Partnership yields mental health center for vulnerable residents in crisis

Monday, 6/20/11 - 5:56 pm

On June 20, Multnomah County and its partners celebrated the opening of the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center (CATC). The facility will serve vulnerable people who are in the midst of a mental health crisis. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The CATC will house 16 beds for people who will stay from four to 14 days while medical professionals, mental health professionals and peer counselors work to stabilize their symptoms. Before being released, the staff will connect the individual to community resources and work to create a follow-up plan for treatment.

“We’re here because we know what happens to people in crisis who don’t receive the help they need. They end up in jail, hospitalized or in the headlines,” said Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen. “At the CATC, they will get on the path toward recovery and total mental health.”

Multnomah County collaborated with the city of Portland, the state and several other partners to renovate the center and secure funding for year-round crisis services. Other partners include Central City Concern, the Oregon Health Authority and Telecare-- the private provider that will run the CATC.

Officials expect to serve approximately 850 clients in crisis each year. A typical CATC stay will be more cost effective than hospitalization and less frightening than jail time for residents who can no longer manage symptoms on their own.

“By connecting people with peer advocates, treatment and other vital services, we are giving hope and support to people who might have otherwise gone to prison,” said Multnomah County Chief Operating Officer Joanne Fuller.

The CATC is located on the second floor of the David P. Hooper Sobering Center at 55 N.E. Grand Ave. in Portland. The center is targeted toward vulnerable individuals who qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or who do not have health insurance.

To admit someone to the CATC, contact the Mental Health Call Center at 503-988-4888. Staff will speak with concerned residents, providers and police to determine a person’s treatment needs and assess if the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center is appropriate.

Providers can also call Telecare, which operates the CATC, directly at 503-232-1099. For more information, visit the CATC website.

Watch video of Chair Cogen's opening remarks

Watch video of Chief Operating Officer Joanne Fuller's remarks