Above / The DuPage County Board Crisis Recovery Center aims to begin construction in spring 2024 with plans to open in summer 2025. (Rendering courtesy DuPage County)
Wheaton – The DuPage County Board on Tuesday voted to allocate funds for the DuPage County Health Department to build a $25.8 million Crisis Recovery Center (CRC), which will expand the behavioral health crisis system in the County.
The 33,000-square-foot building will be connected to the Linda A. Kurzawa Community Center, located at 115 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton. The facility will provide immediate care triage for adults, children, and adolescents in a therapeutic environment and create a crisis services hub for all Health Department behavioral health crisis services.
“This historic investment will improve access to much-needed mental health and substance use treatment services for those in our community who need them most,” said Deborah Conroy, DuPage County Board Chair. “We will work to prioritize mental health services and ensure this center is one of the best and most efficient mental health facilities in the state and the nation.”
The CRC will help residents de-escalate, stabilize, and connect to community resources individualized for each client’s mental health and substance use treatment needs. The building design and operations will ensure individuals and their families feel welcome, respected, and secure throughout every step of their care. The CRC will serve as an alternative to hospital emergency departments and create a single point of entry for all individuals, families, and first responders.
$25.8 million center funded by variety of government sources
DuPage County provided $15.3 million for the project from the American Rescue Plan Act. An additional $5.5 million came from the state’s Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, funds which were secured by Conroy when she served as a state representative. The remaining $5 million will be provided by the Health Department and includes a $1 million grant from U.S. Congressman Sean Casten through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Investing these funds to expand access to behavioral health crisis services will have a lasting impact on our community, improving the health and well-being of DuPage County residents,” said DuPage County Board Member Sam Tornatore, who also serves as President of DuPage County Board of Health.
CRC aims to support ‘best-in-class’ health system
The CRC is the critical next step in DuPage County Health Department’s (DCHD) decades-long journey to build the infrastructure needed to support a best-in-class behavioral health system. This behavioral health expansion will ensure all DuPage County residents will have increased access to “someone to call, someone to respond, and somewhere to go” when experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis.
“The Crisis Recovery Center will create a new pathway for crisis services and ensure individuals experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis receive immediate help, the proper level of support and linkage to the appropriate treatment setting,” said Karen Ayala, outgoing Executive Director of DuPage County Health Department.
The design and operations are an ongoing collaborative process between the Health Department and elected officials, community mental health and substance use providers, municipalities, health systems, law enforcement, fire/EMS, and the judicial system.
“DCHD values the input from trusted community stakeholders and will continue to engage these partners as this development moves forward and beyond,” said Adam Forker, incoming Executive Director of DuPage County Health Department. “We are working collectively to ensure the success of this transformational project by creating a coordinated, systemic response to help those who need it the most.”
The Health Department expects to break ground in spring 2024 and open the CRC in summer 2025.
To learn more about the CRC, visit www.dupagehealth.org/747/Crisis-System-Expansion.
Report and images provided by Evan Shields, Public Information Officer for DuPage County Board.