State expands mental health crisis aid to Tuscaloosa County

Tuscaloosa County is now home to one of two additional mental health crisis centers, further expanding the Alabama Crisis System of Care and providing new resources for patients and first-responders alike.

Fiscal year 2023, which begins Oct. 1, will have allocations for community mental health Centers at Indian Rivers Behavioral Health in Tuscaloosa County and SpectraCare Health Systems in Houston County.

These two new centers will add to the four existing centers in Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile, now serving individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders at staged levels of care.

“The state of Alabama is proud to continue doing its part to offer top notch crisis care to people in need,” said Gov. Kay Ivey in a news release. “During my time as governor, I’ve placed a renewed focus on finding innovative ways to support Alabamians that find themselves battling mental health issues, and I have no doubt that these two new facilities are going to change lives for the better.”

The two newly awarded centers in Tuscaloosa County (Region 2 – Tuscaloosa) and Houston County (Region 4 – Dothan) will serve large populations in the regions, with additional special populations, including veterans and young adults, officials said.

They join current crisis centers at AltaPointe Health in Mobile, WellStone in Huntsville, the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority in Montgomery and the Jefferson, Blount, St. Clair (JBS) Mental Health Authority in Birmingham.

Mental Health Crisis Centers are designated places for community members, law enforcement officers and first responders to take individuals who are in mental health crisis.

The centers offer both walk-in access and the capacity for first responders and law enforcement to transfer individuals to the center for crisis care, short-term admission, medication management and case management.

Services also include critical crisis intervention and stabilization services, discharge planning and, if needed, connections to ongoing behavioral health care services.

As part of the first major investment in state mental health services since the administration of Gov. Lurleen Wallace, a Tuscaloosa native who was the first woman to serve as Alabama’s governor, Ivey has prioritized establishing a mental health crisis continuum of care, supported by efforts in the Alabama Legislature.

The initial three Crisis Centers were funded with an $18 million appropriation in the fiscal year 2021 General Fund budget, with continued funding appropriated in the fiscal 2022 and 2023 General Fund budgets to support the existing crisis centers and add new crisis centers across the state.

“We are committed to ensuring all Alabamians have someone to call, someone to respond, and, if needed, someplace to go in times of crisis,” said Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Kim Boswell. “We are thankful for Gov. Ivey’s leadership and the Legislature’s continued investment in our state’s crisis system of care, expanding access to even more individuals and their families.”

For more information, visit the Alabama Department of Mental Health’s Alabama Crisis System of Care webpage at

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