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Phased opening of Treatment and Recovery Center will begin April 10

The Treatment and Recovery Center (TRC) of Douglas County will begin a phased opening on April 10.

The Douglas County Board of County Commissioners approved a lease agreement and an operating agreement on April 5 for the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center to operate the TRC, located at 1000 West Second St.

“The day our citizens envisioned when they voted in support of this project has arrived, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Bert Nash Center CEO Patrick Schmitz. “As an organization that has served this community for the past 72 years, the Bert Nash Center is honored by the trust and faith the County and the community have put in us. All the partnerships involved in this project have shown that collaboration among local colleagues is the best way to create lasting healthcare outcomes in our community.”

“The road to an integrated system of behavioral health care has required patience, collaboration and commitment across our community. It is a testament to the power and conviction of this community that we do not yield to the challenges, choosing instead to strengthen our partnerships when times get tough,” said Patrick Kelly, chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “We are better together and Douglas County celebrates another step towards our behavioral health care aspirations. The work at the Treatment and Recovery Center will save lives. Thank you to Bert Nash, our behavioral health partners, and our community for demonstrating the care, capability and commitment to improving the health of Douglas County.”

The timeline for the TRC that County Commissioners and the Bert Nash Center agreed on has the Urgent Care Unit of the TRC opening on April 10. Community check-ins will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends, 365 days a year. Services will include:

  • Triage/assessments

  • Psychiatric med evaluations/prescriptions

  • Referrals

  • Initial treatment planning

  • Coordination of care

The Urgent Care Unit is the front-door entrance of the TRC. It serves all Douglas County residents, children and adults. At the Urgent Care Unit, community members will have immediate access to behavioral health crisis assessment and treatment. After hours, people experiencing a mental health crisis can come to an entrance on the west side of the building and be seen by TRC staff.

Patients seen at the TRC can return for interim care as needed to follow up. If during the receipt of services, it is determined by the attending physician that services at the TRC are not the appropriate level of care, the Bert Nash Center will coordinate transfer to a facility with an appropriate level of care.

According to the roadmap for opening the TRC, the Observation and Stabilization units will open May 25. Those units will be open 24/7, 365 days a year. The main goal for the Observation and Stabilization units is to provide a safe, structured place for those individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis to recover. The units will serve adults, 18 and older.

The Observation and Stabilization units will accept referrals from law enforcement, the Bert Nash Center’s Mobile Response Team, and First Responders. The TRC has a special entrance for people in crisis who are brought by emergency responders. Capacity for those units will initially be at 10 patients. That capacity will increase to 16 patients by July 17, according to the agreed-upon timeline. The capacity for the Observation and Stabilization units will expand to 24 patients by Oct. 7. The maximum stay for the Observation Unit is 23 hours before patients are discharged or referred to another facility for continued care, and 72 hours for the Stabilization Unit.

A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the TRC was held June 23, 2022. Bert Nash Center staff and County staff have been working diligently to develop a plan for opening the TRC, including a list of due diligence items that included budget, facility workflows, licensing, logistics, and financial and operational transparency.

The TRC is the result of collaboration and investment from numerous local institutions and agencies. It is funded through a variety of resources including the quarter-cent sales tax that was approved by voters in November 2018 to improve behavioral health services and facilities in Douglas County.

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