The new Solvista Health Regional Assessment Center, 7166 CR 154 on the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center campus, celebrated its opening May 5 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an event that included tours of the facility and other opening day festivities.

Andrea Carlstrom, board chair of Solvista Health and Chaffee County public health director, said the facility is a dream that has become reality.

“I have seen the blood, sweat and tears that went into this project,” she said.

The facility brings greater behavioral health care and substance use services to the area.

In the past those requiring such services had to be transferred to the Front Range due to lack of a similar facility in Central Colorado.

The Regional Assessment Center includes a crisis living room where people experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis can receive support at any time. The space is staffed by peer specialists and is available 24 hours a day.

From there a patient can de-escalate and review options and develop a plan for treatment.

Two six-bed units for short-stay care are also part of the facility.

The Acute Treatment Unit provides a safe and secure environment and supports those who need short-term acute psychiatric care but don’t require inpatient hospitalization.

The average stay is a week and the time is used to de-escalate and stabilize an acute mental health crisis and make a plan that will allow a person to safely return to their community.

The Withdrawal Management Unit provides a safe place to stay overnight under the oversight of professional staff to monitor and support a person going through detoxification or withdrawal from substance use.

The staff works with the patient to develop a treatment plan for addressing their substance use issue.

Solvista Health Chief Operating Officer Mandy Kaisner said in designing the facility they wanted to make it as therapeutic a space as possible, including a bright open entry area and natural light throughout the building.

Each room has a bed, a night stand and chairs.

The rooms open to a common room holding small tables and chairs.

A station where staff can be readily available is central to the rest of the facility.

The services at the facility are available 24 hours a day and can be accessed via:

• Referral from a behavioral health or health care provider, a hospital, emergency services or law enforcement.

• Coming to the facility directly. Walk-ins from anywhere in Colorado can ask for services.

• Being accompanied or transported by law enforcement or emergency services.