Triage Center to Help with Stateline Mental Health Issues

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- As Singer Mental Health Center is slated to close within the month, the plan to stop accepting new patients begins Monday.

"It's forcing us to chance our model a little bit and change how we are providing care for patients. Certainly Singer closing is going to decrease some capacity in the area however plans have been put into place to adjust and find other avenues for care," said Chad Thompson, Director of Emergency Services at SwedishAmerican Hospital.

Stateline emergency rooms, like this one at SwedishAmerican hospital have a small number of rooms set aside for incoming patients suffering from chronic mental illnesses. However, as Singer closes, Rosecrance will be opening their new triage center in an effort to bridge the gap in available care.

"The fewer hospitalizations a person with mental illness, the better the prognosis. Every time a person is in crisis, that does not mean they need to be in a hospital. Therefore these people will be building skills. They will be in the community and actually the prognosis will be better," said Mary Ann Abate, Vice President of Rosecrance Community Mental Health.

While Mary Ann admits this center isn't meant to stop patients from being admitted into the hospital, the facility will be able to lighten the load at local ER’s by providing appropriate care for patients who can be treated without hospitalization.

"I think it's going to be a new adventure. I think you are redesigning a health care model now. Somethings we will get right. Some things we won't get right and we will have to learn and adjust as we go," says Abate.

The facility can be viewed as an overnight recovery setting for those in need of a stable and supportive environment. The renovations at the Rosecrance Warecenter on West State Street are expected to be completely by mid-October.

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