Crisis response center, hotline a good thing - Tucson News Now

Crisis response center, hotline a good thing

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

New this morning, thousands in Southern Arizona have been kept out of hospitals and jails thanks to a voter approved crisis response center, and in its first year its helped save tens of millions of dollars.

The goal of the crisis response hotline is to give specific help, but also to relieve the stress on 911 call centers, jails and emergency rooms, like the one at UAMC.  In its first year it has done just that.

It's a massive one-stop resource center, helping anyone in the community who is in crisis.  It could be because of drug abuse, someone who's facing depression or someone who's concerned about a family member or neighbor. 

It opened in August 2011 and Tucson is getting a first look at the impact. 

The center helped about 13,000 adults and children in its first year, that's just in person. 

The 24/7 crisis phone line took more than 135,000 phone calls, again just in its first year.  They redirected thousands from jails, hospitals and calls from 911.

Officials say it has also helped financially.  They say it is tough to put a dollar figure on the crisis center, but they believe it has saved the criminal justice system anywhere from $45 million to $75 million so far.

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