Alabama took what officials called a big step toward solving a statewide mental health care crisis today with the opening in Huntsville of the first of several new emergency services centers planned statewide.

Before the new center, police had two options when responding to a reported mental breakdown, WellStone Emergency Services CEO Jeremy Blair said. “Take them to jail or take them to the hospital,” he said. “Now, we have a third option – the Crisis Intervention System.”

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