County Approves First Emergency Unit For Children

On Tuesday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a $23.5 million dollar contract with Exodus Recovery Incorporated for Crisis Stabilization services. 

"Ensuring every child has access to quality mental heath care is imperative for Orange County," said Supervisor Andrew Do. "This is a meaningful step towards making that a reality." 

The new 10,000 square foot Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) located in Garden Grove is anticipated to start receiving patients December 2017 and will have the capacity to serve 22 Medi-Cal patients as well as private payers. The Exodus CSU will be affiliated with St. Joseph's Hospital, giving it more inclusive admitting criteria than the current County CSU. 

The new CSU will admit children ages 13 and up. This is a critical step forward in addressing the issue of children's mental health considering that 50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% begin before age 24

For the past 36 years, the County has only had one CSU. A 10 bed facility located in Santa Ana serving adults, ages 18 and up. This CSU is currently undergoing renovations to increase the patient capacity, increase safety, replace current fixtures with anti-ligature hardware, and increase client privacy. This project is anticipated to be completed by May 2017. 

Additional CSUs are also planned for future consideration. The County Health Care Agency (HCA) is currently in discussion with three other providers for additional involuntary CSUs throughout the County. HCA will also be initiating a Request For Proposals for a voluntary CSU. All current proposed CSUs are involuntary. 

"I am committed to establishing the infrastructure and services necessary to meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations," stated Supervisor Do. 

The Board decision comes off the heels of the opening of the Courtyard Transitional Center, Potters Lane, and the opening of the Kraemer Shelter in April 2017.