With the opening of its fourth crisis stabilization unit, Arkansas has fulfilled its legislative requirement for the number of such facilities in the state.
The Craighead County Crisis Stabilization Unit, which will serve 20 counties in northeast Arkansas with 16 beds, opened Tuesday. It is the fourth and final CSU authorized under Act 423. The other CSUs are in Sebastian, Pulaski and Washington counties.
Passed in March 2017, Act 423 authorizes the establishment and operation of the four CSUs and mandates crisis intervention training to teach law enforcement how to recognize and deescalate a mental-illness crisis.
Sebastian County in March 2018 was the first county to open a CSU at the Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center. The facility in Craighead County is the only newly built structure to hold its CSU.
The four CSUs are expected to divert about 4,800 people annually from jail to treatment, according to an Arkansas Governor's Office news release.
"The partnership between the state and the four counties of this pilot program is on the forefront of efforts in our state to help those in a mental health crisis," said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. "I believe in the promise of these units to better serve the people of our State."