Klamath County finalized the transfer of vacant land in Klamath Falls to Klamath Basin Behavioral Health last week. The donation, along with a $2.6 million grant from the Oregon Health Authority, will kickstart the construction of a brand new 16-bed long-term mental health treatment center.
Additionally, the new building will host a four-bed crisis receiving center, which is intended to reduce the burden on local hospitals and jails.
“When someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, they are not always needing hospital care,” said KBBH Communications Director Abbie McClung. “And so diverting people out of hospital and corrections systems to a mental health facility, that is the goal for the four-bed crisis receiving center.”
The new building will be located next to the current treatment facility for KBBH, Phoenix Place, which hosts long- and short-term beds. McClung said this expansion will double the number of both.
“The current capacity of eight beds respite and eight beds residential, and zero beds for crisis receiving is simply not enough to meet the need in Klamath County,” McClung said. “So this increased capacity will help us meet that need.”
The expansion will take place on two vacant lots, which McClung said have been vacant for two decades. She added the land is restricted to mental health treatment through a 2009 state grant.
McClung said this is the only service of its kind in the county. The addition of crisis care beds corresponds with the rollout of 988, the new nationwide mental health crisis line.
KBBH plans on breaking ground on the expansion this year and opening the center in 2024.