(Kennewick, WA) -- Officials from Benton County dedicated a new Mental Health Treatment and Recovery Center set to be built inside the old Kennewick General Hospital site Thursday morning. It was announced that the county closed on the sale and received the deed for the site from Trios Health earlier this month.  The County also issued a Request for Proposals to begin the process of finding a provider to operate the center.

Officials: It will offer an immediate impact on crime

Dr. Michelle Gerber with the Benton-Franklin Recovery coalition spoke at the dedication ceremony held at the County Administration building. She says when the new facility opens, it will offer an immediate impact on crime, as she says, more people suffering from addiction will be off the streets. It center will offer an economic boost as well, with more treatment dollars being spent in the Tri-Cities as opposed to them being spent in Spokane, which is what's happening right now.

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According to a press release issued by Benton County, the Recovery Center will provide comprehensive behavioral health services to persons in mental health crisis or suffering for substance use disorder, with or without co-occurring mental health disorders. The services that will be provided at the center include treatment assessment, medical withdrawal management (detox), residential inpatient treatment, aftercare planning (recovery housing, job training assistance, etc.), and pediatric transition services.

Right now, addiction patients and those suffering from mental health issues are sent to Spokane for treatment, which is time-consuming and in the event of criminal cases, draws resources away from law enforcement. This new facility is designed to keep those resources here in the Tri-Cities.

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