POUGHKEEPSIE – Effective immediately, the Dutchess County Stabilization Center, which assists with the county’s mental health and addiction services programs, will operate exclusively via phone and telepractice. The facility will continue to operate all day and night every day, but won’t be accepting in-person visits until further notice. These steps are being taken to help ”flatten the curve” and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The Stabilization Center is a 24/7, non-medical, voluntary center for individuals experiencing crises resulting from mental health or substance abuse issues.
The Stabilization Center has established a central phone number for individuals in crisis to call – (845) 486-2849. Department of Behavioral & Community Health’s and partner agency mental health experts will be available to do assessments, referrals, and do handoffs over the phone. Individuals will also continue to receive follow-up and monitoring from staff to ensure success after their call. The Stabilization Center is a 24/7, non-medical, voluntary center for individuals experiencing crises resulting from mental health or substance abuse issues.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “The Stabilization Center is open and operating – we remain committed to supporting and providing help 24/7 to whoever may need it. However, we must change how we are operating to ensure the health and safety of both those who need our services and the dedicated individuals providing those services. Shifting to telepractice and ending in-person visitations to the Stabilization Center is necessary as we try to limit physical interactions to help stop the spread of Coronavirus”
“While we are doing all we can to practice good social distancing, it’s imperative we don’t begin practicing emotional distancing. We won’t let a pandemic stop our efforts at ‘Breaking Through’ the stigma surrounding addiction and helping individuals struggling with substance abuse, and their families, feel comfortable to seek treatment,” continued Molinaro.
Dr. Jacqueline Johnson, DSW, LCSW-R, the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral & Community Health said, “The vast majority of services offered at the Stabilization Center remain available to residents in crisis. We will continue to offer crisis counseling, peer advocacy, youth and family counseling, addiction and substance use counseling, and still make warm handoffs to connect patients with community-based resources.”
Individuals are also reminded that they can always call or text HELPLINE at (845) 486-9700, which connects individuals with trained mental health professionals who can counsel or offer referrals to those dealing with mental health or substance use issues – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Dutchess County’s 24/7 Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT) will also move to operating via phone and telepractice. While they will not be available to enter people’s homes, they will assist law enforcement with crisis calls and links to services. This will ensure Dutchess County continues to divert individuals with behavioral health or substance use issues so they can receive immediate assistance in order to de-escalate crisis and plan for ongoing services.
Residents who have concerns regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus are encouraged to visit DutchessNY.gov/Coronavirus or call the Coronavirus Hotline at (845) 486-3555. This is an evolving situation, and County leaders will continue to update the public with the most current information and ongoing updates.