Northern Lakes Community Mental Health opens first Crisis Welcome Center in Traverse City

The Northern Lakes community’s mental health has helped people from Leelanau County down to Roscommon County.

Now they have a new center in Traverse City that changes their typical services a bit.

The Northern Lakes Community Mental Health says the number of people seeking mental health services has tripled in the past two years.

“With the pandemic, there’s an overwhelming need right now, a lot of anxiety, a lot of life stressors,” said Amanda Adams of the Crisis Welcoming Center. “It can become overwhelming and interfere with your day-to-day functioning.”

In response, they established their first Crisis Welcoming Center in Traverse City with peer support and clinicians.

“Some people don’t necessarily need to be hospitalized. They just need a place outside of their environment to just relax,” Adams said.

“People who come in can sit down, they can rest. They can sleep, we can give them something to eat and drink. We also have a few games, fidget toys, coloring supplies, adult coloring books and jigsaw puzzles,” said Pamela Blue, operations manager for crisis services and justice diversion at Northern Lakes Community Mental Health.

The goal of the center is to be another option in the community other than going to the emergency room or jail when you are in a mental health crisis.

“If police officers feel like there is a mental health issue and not necessarily trespassing or something they want to pursue, they may want to get help. You can bring her here,” Blue explained.

The welcoming crisis center is open daily from noon to midnight and helps people of all ages.

They hope to have enough staff to operate 24 hours a day by September and eventually have a residential crisis center.

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