SSM Health Ripon Community Hospital became the first in Wisconsin to offer a mental health outpatient day stabilization unit in September 2022. Thanks to a $158,000 Wisconsin Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Grant, this innovative new unit provides a dedicated place for patients in crisis to receive immediate behavioral health services and support for up to 23 hours.
The new day stabilization unit accommodates eight patients in crisis who can voluntarily receive therapy, be assessed for further treatment needs and get assistance with family and discharge planning. The goal is to help individuals resolve their crisis and make appropriate community connections for ongoing services.
Caregivers in the unit work with Fond du Lac County mental health crisis team members and the hospital’s emergency department on substance abuse and mental health screening of patients to determine the appropriate level of care. The Foundation for Ripon Medical Center has contributed $75,000 to assist patients with transportation needs.
The new unit reflects SSM Health’s commitment to talk more openly about mental health and bridge gaps in mental health services, particularly in rural communities. The unit is intended to help offset the high demand for psychiatric and outpatient mental health services where patients in crisis often must wait six to eight months or more for a behavioral health services appointment.