Psychiatric Emergency Services Needed

Right now East Texans with mental illness have no emergency care close by. As a result the patients go untreated, use emergency rooms not set up to handle such cases or even worse, end up in jail.   Meanwhile, the Burke Center continues its efforts to obtain funding for an East Texas psychiatric emergency service.

Representatives are visiting county commissions and hospital boards for passage of a resolution. It's asking for support to build a facility that would serve a 12 county region.   Burke center director, Susan Rushing said,   " What we're asking our counties to do and our hospitals to do is partner with Burke Center and approach the state for a grant to establish a 24 hour emergency psychiatric facility for our region that will meet that need. "   The center would provide psychiatric assessment and treatment, accept emergency peace officers' warrants, provide short term treatment for adults, provide an alternative to hospital emergency rooms, provide placement in and transportation to other inpatient facilities,and have a capacity for 9 patients in assessment. The center, if funded, would begin operations in temporary locations as soon as this June.