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There are several resources available in Williamson County. Specialty care and age-focused care varies. HERE TO HELP Rock Springs Services: adolescent, PTSD, substance abuse, and inpatient and outpatient care. Open 24/7. 512-819-9400. www.rockspringshealth.com Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute Services: adolescent, substance abuse, and inpatient and outpatient care. Open 24/7. 877-500-9151. www.georgetownbehavioral.com Williamson County Children Advocacy Center Services: adolescent. Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. 512-943-3701. www.wilcocac.org Bluebonnet Trail Community Services (San Gabriel Crisis Center) Services: crisis care, intellectual development disabilities, autism and family health care. Open 24/7. 800-841-1255. www.bbtrails.org Williamson County Crisis Intervention Team Services: substance abuse and self- harm. 512-943-3545 or after-hours 512-864-8277
GBHI serves patients age 12 and up at its 118-bed inpatient and outpatient facility. The facility also oers veteran services, individual and group ther- apy, substance abuse help and detox care. GBHI has specic adolescent and geriatric wings and oers one of the only psychiatric intensive care units in Central Texas. “Patients gain skills in the areas of developing healthy boundaries, learn- ing how to appropriately express emo- tions, using eective communication skills, increasing self-esteem, manag- ing anger and developing life skills,” Lopez said. Answering emergency calls Bluebonnet Trails Community Ser- vices recently partnered with William- son County to address the growing demand for mental health care by embedding a mental health profes- sional in the 911 dispatch center. Under the agreement, which took eect in November, mental health care is one of the emergency services options available when a person calls 911 in addition to re, emergency med- ical services and police. “This partnership eliminates the stigma of mental illness, recognizing it among traditional assistance when persons may be in distress,” BTCS Executive Director Andrea Richardson said. This year, a total of 133 mental health calls have been made to 911 dispatch in Williamson County, 62 of which were diverted away from law enforcement, according to Bluebonnet Trails data. With locations throughout Central Texas, BTCS oers a variety of behav- ioral health services as well as early childhood intervention and family health care. Additionally, at its George- town campus, the San Gabriel Crisis
MAKING Bluebonnet Trails Community Services entered a crisis services interlocal agreement with Williamson County in November. This agreement allows for mental health care as one of the options oered by 911 dispatch. THE CALL
DISPATCH OPERATOR: “Hello. Is this an emergency for re, ambulance, police or mental health?”
CALLER: “Mental health.”
DISPATCH OPERATOR: “I’ll get you transferred over to a mental health professional.” The call is transitioned to a Bluebonnet Trails qualied mental health professional on the 911 dispatch oor.
QUALIFIED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
Engages the caller, assesses the needs and, if needed, dispatches a Bluebonnet Trails Mobile Crisis Outreach Team member to the caller. The professional can also arrange for a followup during the next 24-48 hours to ensure the caller’s needs have been met.
Note: When helpful, the caller may also be connected to Bluebonnet Trails services or services through their medical provider or a third party.
SOURCES: BLUEBONNET TRAILS COMMUNITY SERVICES, GEORGETOWN BEHAVIORAL HEALTH INSTITUTE, ROCK SPRINGS, WILLIAMSON COUNTY, WILLIAMSON COUNTY CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
will increase the hospital’s ability to provide mental health and substance use treatment. “By expanding our facility ... we can provide high-quality treatment in our community, which reduces the need for Williamson County residents to leave the county to secure services,” Basalay said. She said the facility has a consistent demand for its services, estimating 80% of daily care is mental health-re- lated and 20% is substance use dis- orders. The center has inpatient, outpatient and military programs.
Basalay said before Rock Springs’ opening in 2014, residents had to travel into Travis County or farther to receive help. Now, the organization serves people from across the country in Georgetown. Another local mental health pro- vider, the Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute, which opened in July 2014, has also worked to meet the higher demand seen during the pandemic. GBHI had more than 3,000 inpatient admissions in 2021 and more than 1,300 through April 2022, Execu- tive Assistant Rick Lopez said.
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“As Williamson County continues to expand and the population rises and stigma around mental health services decreases, more people will begin to seek help,” said Erin Basalay, CEO of Georgetown behavioral health hospi- tal Rock Springs. Private care in Georgetown In March, Rock Springs announced a 24-bed expansion. Basalay said this $6 million project, which includes added dining and mechanical space,
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