KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 2, 2017) — The State’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse has awarded Knox County Government a Pre-Arrest Diversion Infrastructure Project grant in the amount of $3,482,625 to support the creation and implementation of the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center, a jail-diversion facility geared toward serving those with behavioral health disorders by working to get them treatment rather than putting them in jail. This grant is in addition to funding already provided by Knox County and the City of Knoxville.
“Knox County has, from the beginning, been a huge advocate for this facility, and I’d like to thank Governor Haslam and the State for helping us make it a reality,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. “Too many mentally ill folks end up in jail because that’s the only option. It’s our hope that this facility, and this approach to mental health, saves lives and helps families.”
“I am grateful to Governor Haslam and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for their support of this vital project. I look forward to working with our partners in Knox County and the state to provide new options and services for those suffering from mental illness and addiction,” said City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero.
“The Helen Ross McNabb Center is very excited to be a part of a community solution that will help people with behavioral health problems receive medical treatment in lieu of incarceration,” said Jerry Vagnier, President and CEO of the Helen Ross McNabb Center. “Numerous partners, including Knox County, the City of Knoxville, KCSD, KPD and the DA’s office, have been essential in our quest to bring a Behavioral Health Urgent Care center to Knoxville. We are thankful for the funding from the TDMHSAS.”
“This is the right thing to do. It’s taken 7 years of perseverance to finally make our vision a reality. It is our duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” said Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones.
The Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center will be operated by the Helen Ross McNabb Center in partnership with the county and city. The center will be located at 3343 Dewine Road.