Molinaro Hosts State Leaders on Tour of County Stabilization Center
Poughkeepsie … County Executive Marc Molinaro yesterday hosted New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Didi Barrett on a tour of the Dutchess County Stabilization Center, the cornerstone of the County’s mental health and addiction services programs. The Stabilization Center is a 24/7, non-medical, voluntary, walk-in center for individuals experiencing crisis resulting from mental health or substance abuse issues.
County Executive Molinaro and A.K. Vaidian, MD, MPH, Commissioner of the County’s Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) provided the state leaders an in-depth presentation of the Center and the various services offered there, including crisis counseling and mental health assessments, supervised outpatient withdrawal services, addiction and substance use counseling, peer advocacy, youth and family counseling, and connecting patients with community-based resources.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Dutchess County is a leader in the state and country in our delivery of mental health services to our residents, and we continue to save lives each day through our efforts, such as the Stabilization Center. The first of its kind in New York, this Center is an example of that communities achieve when they focus on recovery, and this model can be successfully replicated nationwide. We thank Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Barrett for their continued interest in, and support of, Dutchess County’s programs, and we look forward to future collaborations that will benefit our residents as we seek to expand and enhance our services.”
Since the Stabilization Center opened in 2017, more than 3,700 individuals have visited more than 7,000 times, receiving the counseling and referrals they need to take the next step on their road to recovery. County Executive Molinaro reiterated the County never turns away individuals at the Center due to lack of insurance or inability to pay, emphasizing that upon leaving the Stabilization Center, individuals receive follow-up and monitoring from staff to ensure success after their stay.
The Stabilization Center provides the County’s 24/7 Mobile Crisis Intervention Team and law enforcement the ability to divert individuals with behavioral health or substance abuse issues so they can receive immediate assistance and services in order to de-escalate crisis and plan for ongoing services upon release. An innovative partnership with several community health agencies, the facility is critical to the County’s efforts to divert individuals dealing with mental illness from hospital emergency rooms or from entering the criminal justice system. County Executive Molinaro, Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Barret discussed the need to provide even greater access to these services to the more rural areas of the County and how the State could support those efforts.
Assemblymember Barrett said, “The Hudson Valley is a critical part of New York’s environment and economy. I am so glad I was able to show Speaker Heastie how the Stabilization Center is making a difference in the lives and well-being of people in Duchess County, as well as our vision to help even more people in rural communities.”
The Stabilization Center also houses Dutchess County’s HELPLINE, available via phone call or text to (845) 485-9700, which connects individuals with trained mental health professionals who can counsel or offer referrals to those dealing with mental health or substance use issues – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The center is also a vital asset in Dutchess County’s efforts at “Breaking Through” the stigma surrounding addiction and helping individuals struggling with substance abuse, and their families, feel comfortable to seek treatment, particularly as Dutchess County, like communities throughout the nation, continues to battle the opioid epidemic. Among other steps, Dutchess County offers 24/7, on-demand training in Narcan, the life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, at the Stabilization Center, in addition to monthly Narcan trainings at the site.