County and city officials joined community leaders this week to break ground for the new High Desert Mental Health Urgent Care Center at the High Desert Regional Health Center.

Located at Avenue I and 5th Street East in Lancaster, the new facility will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week in providing mental health services to adults, children and adolescents who are suffering a crisis and need immediate stabilization.

Services will include diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, referrals, consultation, community engagement, crisis intervention/stabilization, medication support, and case management. In addition, the center will help reduce local emergency room crowding and unnecessary hospitalizations, which can further traumatize patients.

“The new High Desert Mental Health Urgent Care Center will provide much-needed diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and referrals to community-based mental health agencies,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Currently, individuals suffering through a mental health crisis end up at a local hospital or transported to the San Fernando Valley. Once the new Mental Health Urgent Care Center is completed, patients can be served close to home with the assurance of quality care and expert resources.”

The center will be operated under contract with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health by Star View Behavioral Health. Star View is a subsidiary of Stars Behavioral Health Group, which was founded in 1988 and offers programs throughout California.

Last year, the Board of Supervisors authorized $14.3 million to design and build the 9,000-square-foot Urgent Care building. The total budget for the project approved by the Board is reportedly $16.5 million. Construction on the new building, located east of the 142,000-square-foot health center, is scheduled to be completed in the fall.