The community partnership behind Asheville’s new behavioral health treatment and crisis center has received statewide honors for its work to improve healthcare services in the Buncombe County region.
Key partners behind the C3356 Comprehensive Care Center were recognized in December by the N.C. Council of Community Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Programs. The council honored Vaya Health, which manages public funds for behavioral health and developmental disability services in 23 western N.C. counties, and other local organizations with a Programs of Excellence Award for Partnerships to Improve Services.
The Programs of Excellence Awards identify innovative, effective programs that have proven instrumental in serving individuals with behavioral health or developmental disability needs. Other major partners in establishing C3356 include RHA Health Services, Inc. (RHA); Buncombe County; Mission Health; the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM); the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC); the Western Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); and Family Preservation Services of North Carolina, Inc.
C3356, located next to Mission’s St. Joseph Campus at 356 Biltmore Ave., brings together a variety of mental health and substance use services under one roof. Operated by RHA, the center offers walk-in outpatient services, 24-hour behavioral health urgent care, ABCCM’s free and retail and free pharmacies, peer support services and local NAMI offices. In late spring, the center will open a 16-bed crisis unit for individuals needing mental health stabilization or alcohol/drug detoxification.
Last year, C3356 provided same-day, walk-in services to an average of 260 people every month, as well as urgent care services on more than 1,300 occasions. The center – the first of its kind in western North Carolina – is also designed to reduce the strain on hospital emergency departments by offering 24-hour services tailored specifically for people in crisis, said Vaya Health CEO Brian Ingraham.
“Across the nation, emergency departments are struggling to serve large numbers of patients with behavioral health needs,” Ingraham said. “Our community came together and said, ‘What can we do locally to make a difference?’ C3356 could not have been established without the collaboration and spirit of true partnership we’re lucky to have here in western North Carolina. Additionally, this project would not have been possible without Vaya’s ability to reinvest Medicaid cost-savings back into our local communities.”
C3356 serves all individuals in crisis, regardless of insurance coverage or county of residence, and is guided by a focus on recovery and peer support. For more information, call 828-254-2700, visit c3356.org or walk in to the center between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Urgent care services are available 24/7.
About Vaya Health
Vaya Health manages public funds for mental health, substance use disorder and intellectual or developmental disability services in 23 North Carolina counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey. Access to services and crisis help are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-849-6127. Learn more at vayahealth.com.