Green Bay - The Green Bay Police Department responded to 595 mental health incidents last year, but a new facility and a change in the game plan by Green Bay's finest hopes to change that.
Willow Creek Behavioral Health held a ribbon cutting ceremony and plans to start admitting people for 24/7 care starting on January 17.
For Strategic Behavioral Health this will be the tenth facility they have built and the first one in Wisconsin, Willow Creek has the goal of helping people before law enforcement has to intervene.
"We will end up employing about 250 staff and we are excited to be here because the community truly has embraced us," said Jim Shaheen the company's president. "There is such a need for mental health and substance abuse."
The clinic will offer a free assessments and provid care to include inpatient and outpatient services along with detox and substance abuse treatment while also providing therapy to people of all ages.
Chief Andrew Smith called this a "game changer" not only for the police but also for people who need help, now they will have a place to go that is close where they can get help.
Smith also announced that two police officers will be trained and work full-time on mental health issues as Green Bay hopes to move forward in a positive way.
"The good news is this facility is so close," said Smith. "We are hoping that these mental health officers can team up with the clinic to do a better job of getting people the help they need before they get into a crisis situation."
There was a packed house for the ribbon ceremony to include the mayor, several alderman with a huge presence from the Green Bay Police Department.
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