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Central Receiving Center Celebrates 10 Years

Mental Health Awareness month kicked off in Orange county with an anniversary celebration for the Central Receiving Center- a special facility for patients suffering a mental health crisis. Before the C-R-C was established, the options for emergency mental health treatment in Orange County were limited.

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Someone who's suffering a mental health crisis can be committed for short term,urgent treatment under what's known as the Baker Act.  Ten years ago a law enforcement officer carrying out a Baker Act had to either take the patient to jail, or to an emergency room, where help could be hours away.

That’s whyOrlando's Lakeside Behavioral Healthcare partnered with Orange county and area hospitals to open the Central Receiving Center. Orlando Police Sargeant Diego Toruno says the C-R-C makes a huge difference.

"It streamlines the process for us, makes it easier for the patient, because if we calm them down, they’re less apt to get violent with us, and number three, when they get here, they’re in a facility that is really here for their needs," he says.

It can take less than 20 minutes to process a Baker Act at the C-R-C, which means an officer is back in service a lot sooner than a trip to the E-R.

Over the past 10 years the CRC has gone from processing about 200 cases a month to 500- but not all of those are Baker Acts.


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