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10/12/2017 7:14:00 PM
New Franciscan Health unit in Lafayette aims to help those in mental crisis
Construction of new unit continues Wednesday, October 1, 2017, at Franciscan Health Lafayette East. Photo by John Terhune/Journal & Courier
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Construction of new unit continues Wednesday, October 1, 2017, at Franciscan Health Lafayette East. Photo by John Terhune/Journal & Courier

Joseph Paul, Journal and Courier

LAFAYETTE. — A new unit of mental health professionals aims to help people in crisis back to their feet, authorities said Wednesday. 

A crisis stabilization unit, slated to open next year at Franciscan Health Lafayette East, will serve as a bridge between emergency room patients experiencing a mental health crisis and resources in the community.

Patients admitted to the unit will receive immediate psychiatric treatment for up to 23 hours while psychiatric professionals determine the best service provider to address the individual's needs. 

"Sometimes, when someone is in crisis and they're in the emergency room, it's hard to determine what's going on, so (the unit is) getting them to a setting that’s appropriate," said Sister Petra Nielsen, vice president for administrative services for Franciscan Health in Lafayette.

The unit is part of a strategic plan by the Mental Healthcare Forum of Tippecanoe County to address "a critical shortage" of resources and professionals, and to improve the "continuum of care" across service providers, including hospitals, emergency rooms and mental health professionals, according to the group's 2016 legislative brief.

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