Improvements slated for Crisis Center -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Improvements slated for Crisis Center


Dougherty County leaders could soon spend nearly half a Million dollars to improve safety at the county's crisis center.   The Albany Area Community Services Board accepted a Newell Construction bid to reduce the risk of suicide at the Aspire Behavioral Health Center on 11th Ave.  

The Chief Financial Officer said over $481,000 will be used to recess shower heads and fire sprinklers into the ceilings. Funds will also be used to upgrade some of the facility's restrooms to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.  

The CFO said proposed improvements come as the state shifts to more community based care. Governor Nathan Deal recently signed SB 349 to support the Department of Behavioral and Developmental Disabilities shift away from psychiatric hospitals.  

"It will provide supervision of the community services board by the state," said David Baranko, Aspire CFO. "And we work in partnering to provide better services."   Baranko said the goal of new laws is to improve treatment.

He said Albany's crisis center, along with a crisis unit in Thomasville and another in Valdosta make treatment more accessible.   "With the (Department of Justice) settlement and the closure of the Southwestern state hospital, they are moving more of the services to local facilities so that people get services where they live," Baranko said. "They don't have to travel as far to receive services."  

Baranko said improvements to the county's facility are necessary to meet state requirements. He hopes to see work begin in early May and completed by late August if funds are approved.    Commissioners will vote on the recommended improvements at their next meeting.


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