Regional Crisis Center opens in Rochester

Published 7:05 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2021

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Mower County 1 of 10 counties taking part in the collaborative effort of mental health support


The Southeast Regional Crisis Center in Rochester will open its doors for the first time on Wednesday. It is the culmination of a massive collaboration that includes Mower County.

In all, it’s a collaboration of 10 southeast Minnesota counties, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center, the Southeast Minnesota NAMI chapter, health plan partners and law enforcement.

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Mower County Director of Health and Human Services Crystal Peterson was at a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday for the facility and said that the facility is an invitation to healing.

“As we toured the facility (Monday) morning, I was impressed with the design and calming atmosphere,” Peterson said. “It is very apparent as you walk through the doors that there was very detailed planning in how to create a facility that is warm and inviting to adults and children alike and many features to ensure the safety of all who utilize the facility.”

Planning for the SERCC began in 2018 when the Legislature approved $28 million in funding to build centers across the state.

What the SERCC does is act as an emergency room for those in crisis.

“There is no need for a referral,” Peterson said. “You can either walk right up to their door or call the Crisis Response hotline for immediate assistance.”

SERCC is equipped to help people of all ages and, along with walk-in service, the facility includes a separate short-term residential area for youth 10 and over and adults who need longer stabilization.

Operation of the facility falls to Nexus Family Healing, the same organization that operates Nexus-Gerard Family Healing in Austin.

Peterson said Mower County became involved in the SERCC because the need was there to support this kind of treatment.

“There is always a need for increased mental health resources,” Peterson said. “What we are seeing is people crowding the ER for mental health services and that is not the ideal place to get your mental health needs met.”

What makes SERCC so accessible is that it is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It will provide a calm environment and specialized care,” Peterson said. “Additionally, we are hopeful that the new facility will eliminate people needing to be sent hours away or out of state to get their needs met in a mental health crisis.”

As with other counties, Mower plays a supportive role through the planning process of the SERCC. Peterson said there is a financial obligation when a child is admitted to the facility.

But in the end, it needs justice (?), and with so many entities coming together to collaborate on the facility, it provides a sturdy base to help those in mental crisis.

During the ribbon cutting, it was shared that one in five people experience mental illness, a number that rose to two in five during the pandemic.

“I think it will send a message that when we are willing to work together and pool resources, we can do great things,” Peterson said. “Our county, region, state and nation are all dealing with individuals that need more support with mental health.”

“SERCC will allow for another resource to turn to when in need,” she continued. “SERCC has strived to eliminate as many barriers as possible so people can more easily seek treatment when they are experiencing a mental health crisis.”

SERCC is located at 2121 Campus Dr. SE in Rochester. If you need immediate assistance. call the Crisis Response hotline at 1-844-274-7472.

“We are fortunate to have this new facility in our backyard,” Peterson said.