Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Network180 entered a partnership to bring a Behavioral Health Crisis Center (BHCC) to West Michigan in late 2022.
The BHCC will be located on Mercy Health Saint Mary’s campus at 200 Jefferson Ave. SE in downtown Grand Rapids. Community members will be able to access services through a walk-in lobby or by a referral from providers. Services will be offered 24/7.
Plans for the BHCC have been in the works since 2017, when the group recognized a need for a more comprehensive behavioral health crisis continuum of care in West Michigan. In January 2021, the vision became a reality when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 5832, authorizing the creation of short-term behavioral health crisis stabilization units in Michigan, much like crisis units in other states that have had success.
The project was awarded a behavioral health grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and Network180 received a mental health block grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Other financial terms were not disclosed.
The heart of the new BHCC will be a crisis stabilization unit, providing rapidly accessible treatment intended to stabilize most behavioral health crises with 24 hours. The BHCC will serve as a central hub for accessing crisis and follow-up care while also integrating medical and laboratory services. Network180 will serve as BHCC’s behavioral health service provider, and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s will provide medical services for the facility.
“Having a full range of crisis services is a necessity for our community, and the Behavioral Health Crisis Center represents an essential piece,” said Dr. Matt Biersack, president of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. “This partnership leverages the strengths of Network180 and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s to provide comprehensive services for those experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Having access to care of this kind is a great example of how partnerships can address key community needs, and we’re grateful for the support from other health systems and key stakeholders as we embark on this work.”
The BHCC will fill the gap for those in Kent County who may not have been able to access care promptly and consistently in an appropriate treatment setting, which often results in the patient ending up in an emergency department, causing heightened anxiety, poor outcomes and higher costs.
“This joint project brings a ‘no wrong door’ approach to behavioral health in West Michigan. We’ll be able to help someone in crisis no matter their income, insurance type, age or veteran status,” said Bill Ward, executive director for Network180. “It’s been a need in our community for a long time, and we look forward to working with Mercy Health Saint Mary’s to make it a reality.”