Lourdes counseling center opens its new Transitions facility in Richland.
This is the only mental health facility of its kind in the Tri-Cities.
The center will give police a place to bring mentally ill patients instead of taking them to jail.
Transitions will also open up a limited number of psychiatric beds in hospitals for the more severe cases.
Director of Out Patient Services Tim Hoekstra said that is a crucial piece in serving our mentally ill community because Washington state is ranked the lowest in the nation for psychiatric beds per capita.
Doctors and nurses at the facility want to help people quickly resolve a mental crisis and move back into the community rather than getting more sick.
Hoekstra said they expect patients to stay for about 3 to 5 days at a time.
Transitions has 16 private patient rooms, a community living space, small exercise area and back garden.
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