BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – A crisis care center meant to take the burden off of jails and emergency rooms across Jefferson, St. Clair and Blount Counties has not yet opened to the public and had to delay its launch this week.

This comes as the Craig Crisis Care Center is working to fill a need of 20 open nursing positions since its grand opening in January.

Executive Director Jim Crego said the clinic will start getting much needed emergency care for the mentally ill. 

“If they were to come to the crisis care center, they are going to receive services immediately,” Crego said. “This is all that we do.”

According to Crego, having this center would help to both eliminate wait times at hospitals for these patients and unneeded space at the jails, when the time comes to open to the public.

“If we can get the word out to nurses that are maybe looking for a change in their career maybe want to do something from the ground up, this is a service that has not yet opened our doors to the public,” Crego said. “We need nurses in the worst way. That’s prevented us from opening right now. We don’t have enough nurses to operate this facility safely.”  

Xavier Bryant will be a clinician and said he is ready to take the reigns after a physician and nurse do a physical assessment of a future consumer.

“Mental health is something that I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface on, but the need is still there,” Bryant said. “A lot of people want them to behave like they don’t have those issues, but they do. This is really an emergency room for those people.”

This cannot happen without 10 registered nurses and 10 licensed practical nurses, Crego said.

You can speak with staff on site at 401 Beacon Parkway West in Birmingham or apply online for the open nursing positions.

In the meantime, Crego said staff on site is continuing to train until they are ready to operate at full capacity.