Work is underway on a facility in Rockford aimed at helping people dealing with a psychiatric crisis. It's one of several steps being taken as the state prepares to close the Singer Mental Health Center.
The state of Illinois plans to close Singer in late October. In the meantime, the Rosecrance Health Network is renovating office space in downtown Rockford.
Rosecrance CEO Phil Eaton says the goal is to create a center where mental health professionals can assess a patient's need. He says it will include elements of the emerging "living room" model for treating mental health patients.
Eaton says they hope they hope the facility will help to prevent these individuals from lingering in traditional Emergency Rooms, and get the help they need as soon as possible.
Eaton also says they don't intend to turn into a walk-in clinic. Referrals would be needed. Several challenges lie ahead, including hiring staff members.
Later this week, WNIJ will air a more detailed report on what's being done to prepare for the closing of Singer.