Mental health experts propose services for possible new center

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A think tank of mental health experts wants to keep people who need treatment out of prisons and get them the help they need.

"Because there are aren't the resources, the burden is falling on the criminal justice system, and it's not really the appropriate place for people who need treatment," said Patricia Calfee, Project Manager with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation recently formed a panel of experts to develop a behavioral health crisis services center. The goal is to prevent jails from becoming de facto asylums after the closing of Earl K. Long Hospital.

The center would include short-term detox beds, a 24/7 call center, long-term care and more.

The next meeting is May 19 to release the results of a new cost-benefits study.

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