Sebastian County

The Sebastian County Opioid Task Force is hosting a summit at Grace Community Church in Fort Smith this Friday from noon to 5 p.m. that includes four speakers. Seating is limited and registration is available here.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

Sebastian County leaders were the first to open a Crisis Stabilization Unit at the Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center earlier this year. As the first to open, they are also the first to handle any issues, like a $79,000 shortfall between the $1.6 million grant from the state and the actual budget necessary to operate the CSU. The Sebastian County judge has asked cities and counties to approve an inter-local agreement that includes a cost-sharing arrangement that will be reevaluated every January.

courtesy: Sebastian County government

Sebastian County leaders have applied for a $750,000 federal grant to start a mental health court similar to the county's drug and veterans’ courts. County Judge David Hudson says a mental health court would provide long-term treatment beyond care provided at the Crisis Stabilization Unit that opened in March. Both the CSU and the mental health court would allow low-level offenders to stay out of jail or prison and would instead address the mental health issues that contributed to their arrests.

courtesy: Sebastian County government

The Sebastian County Crisis Stabilization Unit is slated to open later this month after some delays and a redesign of the building. Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center is facilitating the CSU. County Judge David Hudson and Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck have consulted with Leon Evans, who until last April was instrumental in designing and establishing a crisis center for psychiatric and substance abuse emergencies in San Antonio.