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Helen Ross McNabb Center Opens Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center

The Helen Ross McNabb Center cut the ribbon on its Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center on Friday.

The treatment center will serve as an alternative to jail for people who are struggling with mental illness or drug addiction. People convicted of nonviolent, misdemeanor crimes will live at the facility and attend rehabilitation classes before being released under supervision.

The center, on Ball Camp Pike, will open on Monday.

About 100 people attended the event Friday, according to a news release. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero; Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; Marie Williams, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services commissioner; and Jerry Vagnier, Helen Ross McNabb Center’s president and CEO, spoke at the event.

“This project has been nearly 10 years in the making,” Vagnier said. “Pre-arrest diversion services are much needed in Knox County, and the community’s support has been integral in making this facility possible.”

The program is the result of collaboration between the governor's office, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Knox County, the city of Knoxville, Knox County Sheriff's Office, Knoxville Police Department and the district attorney’s office.

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