The first Northeast Texas Regional Crisis Response Center is set to open in Cass County.

The Regional Crisis Response Center (RCRC) in Atlanta, Texas, a collaborative effort between Community Healthcore and CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System, opens Jan. 21, 2015 for patient care at CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital-Atlanta.

Established to address the findings of  a community needs assessment, the RCRC will help ensure that patients (18 years of age and older) suffering with a mental health crisis receive “the right care in the right setting at the right time,” according to Jeanell Cannon, Regional Administrator for Community Healthcore, Bowie, Cass, and Red River Counties.

Historically, a large number of patients facing a mental health crisis in the Ark-La-Tex region have presented to area hospital emergency departments to seek care. The 24-bed RCRC unit will provide a more appropriate setting for these patients while decreasing the demand for emergency resources that are designed and best used to address an already high volume of physically emergent patients.

The RCRC, funded through the Texas 1115 Waiver, offers care for both voluntary clients and those who are on an involuntary 48-hour-hold. The Texas 1115 Waiver applies to projects designed to improve outcomes and reduce cost. Construction for the project was provided through CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital-Atlanta.

Operating as a temporary three-bed voluntary unit since April of 2014, the mental health unit has served more than 95 clients from Cass, Bowie, and surrounding counties.  At full capacity, the new 24-bed RCRC unit brings more than 25 full-time, part-time, and PRN (as needed) jobs to the Atlanta community.

The public is invited to participate in a brief program and a tour of the facility beginning at 11 a.m. this Wednesday January 21. The facility is located at 1007 South Williams St. in Atlanta, Texas.