Williamson County in talks to fund crisis-unit expansion at Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute

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At a meeting Tuesday morning, Williamson County commissioners discussed their intention to contribute funding to a 12-bed crisis stabilization unit within the Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute to help serve residents experiencing mental health issues.

By partnering with Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, the Commissioners Court tentatively plans to contribute $513,000 to the new unit to be matched by state funds, according to county documents. Of the $513,000, $75,000 could come from the public assistance fund and the remaining $438,000 from the county’s general fund, but those plans are still tentative.

In September, the court unanimously approved a resolution supporting Bluebonnet Trails’ funding for a stabilization unit at Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute provided through a state grant derived from House Bill 13, enacted during the 85th state legislative session.

Andrea Richardson, the executive director at Bluebonnet Trails, said the group is still undergoing negotiations for the expansion but should be finished within two weeks. If the plans are approved, the crisis stabilization would grow from a 4-bed unit to a 12-bed unit, Richardson said.

The partnership between the county and mental health services does a world of good when it comes to serving Williamson County residents, she said.

“The reason we can do what we do is because we come together as the mental health task force,” Richardson said.

In 2017, Williamson County ranked fourth in statewide health rankings, but its numbers for mental health services were staggeringly low.

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