Q&A: How a 24-hour Crisis Wellness Center in Binghampton will save more lives come early 2025

Alliance Healthcare Services has been delivering compassionate mental health treatment and recovery services for more than 50 years. Recently, the organization broke ground on a state-of-the art, 24-hour Crisis Wellness Center in Binghampton.

I recently had a chance to speak with Alliance Healthcare Services CEO Laurie Powell about the new crisis wellness center, Alliance Healthcare Services celebrating 50 years, and more. 

High Ground News: When will the new 24-hour Crisis Wellness Center open? 
Laurie Powell, CEO of Alliance Healthcare Services. (Alliance Healthcare Services)
Laurie Powell: February '25. The Crisis Wellness Center in Binghampton will boast the motto “through any door,” meaning that anyone and everyone is welcome. There’s no barriers or fear of jail and the center will offer both inpatient and outpatient care. Not to mention, all staff are trained to treat medically complex issues. It will offer the full continuum of care where first responders, walk-ins, schools, individuals, and hospitals can bring in patients to be assessed and find the right pathway for them. The new facilities are inviting and welcoming and built with therapy top of mind. 

HGN: With the new Center opening soon, what are you most excited about? 

Laurie Powell: Saving more lives from suicide, diverting more people with mental illness who need treatment not incarceration, diverting individuals and families from long wait times in emergency rooms who need immediate mental health care. 

HGN: Why is this work so important to you? 

Laurie Powell: It's my life mission to save lives, reduce stigma, and we must address the school-to-prison pipeline by focusing on trauma early on so children and families can become resilient and healthy. Statistics show that more people are incarcerated with mental illness than any other setting and that's not ok. Alliance Healthcare Services is one of the largest jail diversion agencies in the country serving around 400 people a month through CIT Police and the Shelby County Sheriff department. 

[Related: Read "Alliance Healthcare serves Memphis' low-income communities with addiction and mental health services" on High Ground News.]

HGN: How can people get involved with this work? 

Laurie Powell:  There are so many ways to plug into our mission and work. As a nonprofit, we rely on donations, but also depend on volunteers. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in volunteering or donating. 

HGN: How does Alliance Healthcare Services plan on celebrating 50 years? 

Laurie Powell: There’s so much to celebrate and so many people to lift up. We plan on sharing our history and impact throughout the year and beyond so the community can truly understand the effect Alliance Healthcare Services has had in and around Memphis. Specifically, there will be a celebration in September. I’m so proud of the organization’s growth and diverse range of services that help people live fulfilling lives. 

HGN: Anything else you’d like to add?

Laurie Powell: I take this job very seriously – this is my life’s work. It’s (about) seeing people get better, recruiting new passionate people to the team that believe what we are doing here.

Visit Alliance Healthcare Services online to learn more about mental health and wellness treatment options in Memphis.
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Read more articles by Jeff Hulett.

Originally from Chicago, Jeff moved to Memphis in 1990 not really knowing much about the south. In fact, the first week he lived here he was suspended from school for not saying, "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am." Jeff has since developed a passion for Memphis and especially Memphis music. A member of several bands including Snowglobe and Me & Leah, Jeff works as a communications consultant with many non-profits including Playback Memphis, Church Health, Room in the Inn-Memphis and BLDG Memphis. Jeff lives in the Vollintine Evergreen neighborhood with his wife and two daughters.