The Bridge Center will provide health services to people in crisis who have a mental illness and/or addiction.

An independent nonprofit, the Bridge Center board includes behavioral health experts, civic leaders, health care experts and elected officials who are accountable to taxpayers. The diverse board has skills that align with its mission.

Business Plan: The nonprofit was created after more than five years of research. We searched and found the best model for behavioral health crisis services in San Antonio. From there, Bridge Center board member Dr. Jan Kasofsky, who leads the Capital Area Human Services District, developed the clinical design based on the successful EKL Mental Health Emergency Room Extension (MHERE), which was shuttered by the state, and the best practices in San Antonio. Independent experts validated her work and wrote a business plan to implement her plan. All the reports are linked here.

Funding: With support from the Metro Council and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, parish government requested a property tax for a mental health treatment center In December 2018, East Baton Rouge Parish voters passed the tax, with 68% for it. Funds aren’t immediately available. Tax proceeds of $6 million per year don’t start flowing until January 2020.

Preparing for startup: The Bridge Center is doing as much as possible to open the treatment center right away. As the details of implementation are determined, we welcome the community’s input on the policies and procedures we develop. You can send us a message via our contact form.

Services: As many as 5,000 people each year will be treated at the center. Services include crisis intervention, behavioral health respite, detoxification, and ongoing case management. The center will always be open to the public. A mobile assessment team will be deployed with qualified individuals to safely transport people in crisis to the center.