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NYS Senate Leader Tours Dutchess County’s Renowned Stabilization Center
Stabilization Center Will Return to Walk-In Service in mid-September

Published: 8/20/2020

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Colleen Pillus


Poughkeepsie… On Tuesday, County Executive Marc Molinaro highlighted the services offered at Dutchess County’s Stabilization Center for new Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, along with Senator Sue Serino. The Stabilization Center is a 24/7, non-medical, voluntary center for individuals experiencing crisis resulting from mental health or substance abuse issues. Deputy Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health Dr. Jackie Johnson provided Senate Leader Ortt with an in-depth walkthrough of the facility highlighting the work being done in collaboration with community partner providers, including a discussion of how the Center has remained operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with a shift to TeleHealth services to allow for 24/7 service to continue, while protecting the health and safety of guests and staff.     Plans are underway for walk-in service to resume at the Stabilization Center in mid-September.


County Executive Molinaro said, “Our nationally recognized mental health services have been invaluable to our community as we continue to provide needed mental health support, divert individuals from the criminal justice system, and save lives.  We appreciate Senator Ortt’s keen interest in the work we are doing here in Dutchess County, providing a model for all of New York State.”  


The County Executive also expressed gratitude to Senator Sue Serino, who championed the idea of the Stabilization Center from its inception.   “Sue Serino has been a great friend and partner to the Stabilization Center. She and her colleagues in the Senate were critical in securing funding to build the facility, which has proven to be an invaluable resource in our community,” Molinaro continued.


The Stabilization Center has served more than 4,500 individuals with over 9,000 visits since opening in 2017.   Individuals in crisis are assisted by mental health professionals who can help de-escalate the crisis, stabilize the individual, and connect them to the appropriate service partner.  The Stabilization Center has been the cornerstone of the County’s mental health response by offering a number of services including crisis counseling, mental health assessments, supervised outpatient withdrawal services, addiction and substance use counseling, peer advocacy, and youth and family counseling.


In March, the Stabilization Center established central phone number for individuals in crisis to call - (845) 486-2849 and began conducting TeleHealth visits to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Department of Behavioral & Community Health’s and partner agency mental health experts have continued doing assessments, referrals, and connecting individuals to necessary services over the phone. Every individual receives follow-up and monitoring from staff to ensure success after their call.

DBCH Deputy Commissioner Jackie Johnson said, “Dutchess County is a recognized leader in the delivery of behavioral health services, and we have continued to serve every resident in need during this pandemic. Our resolve to serve has never wavered, nor has our ability to positively impact the lives of our most vulnerable populations.”

The Stabilization Center has been available to law enforcement who have individuals in crisis as well as those whose situation requires a face to face meeting with a clinician.  


With new cleaning and disinfection protocols as well as social distancing measures in place, and temperature checks for all who enter, the Department of Behavioral & Community Health will return to walk-in visits starting on September 15th


“We are grateful to our DBCH staff and all of our community partners who have risen to the challenge of providing these critical services during unprecedented times.    We look forward to expanding service for walk-in visits in September and remind everyone that if you live with mental health or substance use issues, you are never alone in Dutchess County.   We are here to help.”