The only 24/7 walk-in mental health urgent care in the Coachella Valley – located in northern Palm Springs — will close Thursday with an unclear future.
Driving the news: Officials with Riverside County confirmed Wednesday that the contract with the current service provider at the facility – Phoenix-based RI International — ends at the end of the fiscal year (June 30). They hope to sign a new contract with a different provider, but it is unclear whether the Palm Springs facility will operate under that contract.
- A spokesperson for RI International could not comment on the reasons why the contract was terminated but did confirm that the company will no longer operate locations in both Palm Springs and Riverside.
Bigger picture: Greg Rodriguez, deputy director for government affairs and community engagement for the county’s Housing and Workforce Solutions Department, said talks are ongoing with Telecare to step in after the current contract ends. Telecare operates a referral-only facility in Indio.
- “We’re having difficulty on some lease negotiations,” Rodriguez said of the situation in Palm Springs. “So, in the interim, if we can’t get that figured out, basically in the next two days … the county Behavioral Health Department is ramping up its capacity for the Indio location.”
Looking back: The Palm Springs mental health urgent care has been in operation at 2500 N. Palm Canyon Dr. since 2016, when it was hailed as “a significant, positive step” toward addressing local behavioral health needs by elected officials. It was designed to treat up to a dozen people at any one time for a maximum of 23 hours.
- The clinic treats people regardless of insurance or ability to pay. When it closes, unless the Indio facility agrees to accept walk-ins, the nearest comparable walk-in clinic is one hour away in Perris.
What they’re saying: “During the Palm Springs site transition, starting July 1, the Indio Crisis Stabilization Unit will act as a voluntary CSU to provide service and handle mental health urgent care needs while we actively work on transitioning to a new provider,” wrote Robert Youssef, the senior public information specialist with Riverside University Health System. “We are working hard to ensure that the transition is as seamless and community-driven as possible.”
If you need help: The Indio Crisis Stabilization Unit is located at 47-825 Oasis St. in Indio. In addition, community members should continue to call the 24/7 Crisis Helpline at 951-686-HELP (4357). The Helpline is free and confidential, and trained counselors – including those who are bilingual – can provide support and resources to best help you.