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Dane County seeking proposals for new mental health center

Dane County is seeking proposals from organizations interested in operating a new 24-hour mental health crisis stabilization center.

The county will use federal Medicaid dollars to finance the development and operation of the Dane County Crisis Care Stabilization Center, which will serve people with critical mental health needs who are at risk of psychiatric hospitalization.

A facility of up to 12 beds is envisioned, according to a press release. Right now, mental health patients are treated in hospital emergency rooms and many are eventually transferred to the state’s Mendota Mental Health Institute at a cost to county taxpayers of up to $1,200 per bed, per day, the release said.

The 2010 Dane County budget, signed by County Executive Kathleen Falk, allocates $520,410 for the facility, including $95,000 in county tax levy to assist with start-up.

Organizations interested in operating the facility have until Jan. 20 to submit their proposals to Dane County.  The county will review the proposals through its normal request for proposals selection process in February and a contract will be awarded in March of 2010.

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