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Comcare’s Community Crisis Center To Add Substance Abuse Services

The Comcare building in downtown Wichita.

Sedgwick County’s community mental health program Comcare is working to bring services for substance abuse patients into its Community Crisis Center in downtown Wichita.

Renovations to the 24-hour Community Crisis Center on North Main are expected to be complete next week. Then, the Substance Abuse Center of Kansas will move its detox and sobering unit into the building.

The nonprofit known as SACK provides treatment and case management for people who are affected by alcohol or drug abuse. CEO Harold Casey says offering mental health and substance abuse services in one location will help law enforcement deal with crisis calls.

"They can drop people off in in about five minutes and then they can go back to their jobs," he says. "Previously, what they had to do is take them to the hospital and the officer has to wait there until the person is admitted and that can be four or five hours."

Casey says about 1,000 people were admitted to the detox and sobering unit last year.

SACK currently provides substance abuse services with 10 sobering and six detox beds at a building on East Morris. It was an early goal of Comcare to move the detox and sobering unit into the Community Crisis Center.

Casey says moving SACK will concentrate services in a central location.

“Here we have the crisis center for mental health services and a detox unit and a sobering unit. Each of those provides a little bit of different services," he says. "Mainly it’s providing residential care for anywhere from hours or three or four days and letting them stabilize and getting them set up for additional services later.”

Comcare used a $1 million dollar grant from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services to expand crisis services and open the Community Crisis Center last year.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.