Benton County elected officials pose with shovels at Thursday’s groundbreaking event. From left, Commissioners Xan Augerot, Pat Malone and Nancy Wyse ,and Sheriff Jef VanArsdall. (Photo provided by Benton County)

Benton County broke ground on the site of its new crisis center this week in Corvallis with nearly 60 dignitaries joining county commissioners for the special event.

“The crisis center will provide immediate assistance and support to individuals experiencing mental health crises,” Benton County Behavioral Health Director Damien Sands said through a press release. “It will be a safe and nonjudgmental environment where people can seek help when they need it most.”

The center will be located at 240 NW Fourth Street.

“The facility will be staffed to handle various mental health crises, including suicidal ideation, severe anxiety or depression, substance abuse emergencies and psychosis,” Sands said. “We will have trained professionals who can assess the situation, provide appropriate interventions and stabilize individuals in crisis.”

The project is financed with $7.7 million in state and federal funding, which includes a two-story, 8,000 square-foot building on Benton County-owned property. Officials said the Benton County Health Department secured $5.45 million for the project from the Oregon state general fund through House Bill 5202.

In addition, State Rep. Dan Rayfield helped secure $1.25 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the project, and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, along with U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkely, helped secure $1 million from a federal appropriations bill.

Corvallis-based Gerding Builders is serving as the design-build contractor for the project. Mahlum Architects is also part of the design process.

The new crisis center is a project of Benton County’s Justice System Improvement Program.

Currently, crisis services are available at 557 NW Monroe Ave., in Corvallis (weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or by calling 888-232-7192.