HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Thirty years ago, Alabama's first female governor, Lurleen Wallace, became known as a mental health pioneer to help those in need. Her mentee, Governor Kay Ivey was at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Wellstone Crisis Center where she looks to continue the fight. "My mentor, Gov. Lurleen Wallace, laid the very foundation for mental health care which throughout the past three decades has been placed on the back burner way too long, but it's time it's been time for Alabama to prioritize mental health services."
City leaders joined Wellstone Chief Executive Officer Jer'emey Blair and the Alabama Department of Mental Health for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Wellstone Crisis Center. The center is one of six facilities in the state to help those in the area of mental health.
State rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter says having the open conversation has led to things changing for Alabama. "Mental health is just as important as physical health. There is no difference. And to see athletes and people that's in the news today saying 'I got a problem' and admitting to it, I think that it is making it easier to serve the people of our state."
The center will include 15 recliners and 16 beds and will provide services to stabilize and monitor those undergoing a mental-health or substance-use crisis and connect patients to community services. Blair shares what he hopes to see going forward. "As we look forward as we continue to invest in our Alabama community mental health care work force, the future of our state looks bright if we stay the course. W now have six centers throughout this state that are operating or plan to operate. we are changing for the better how we deliver mental health care."