Local Crisis Center Shares Positive Update During Mental Health Awareness Month

This article was originally written and published by Sarah Gannon of KTTC.


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a time to identify some helpful resources in our community.

One is the Southeast Regional Crisis Center (SERCC), located in Rochester.

Since opening in late July, 2021, SERCC has helped 597 individuals.

“The nice thing about the Southeast Regional Crisis Center is it fills a niche that had not been filled before hand,” Mayo Clinic Psychiatrist and SERCC Psych provider Dr. Bruce Sutor said.

SERCC has provided the community with an alternative to the emergency room for a mental health crisis.

“Part of it is we want to have a place in the community for folks to go as an alternative to the emergency department when that’s appropriate and we want people to be able to 24/7 get the mental health assessments and care that they need,” Sutor said. “And it’s going really well.”

The facility is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for patients to get a mental health assessment and provides a number of difference services.

“There is availability of crisis counseling and there is availability for referral to a psychiatric prescriber, or psychiatrist, like myself and one of my colleagues who spends time there,” Sutor said. “And for those who have a little bit more intensive needs than what can be met on an outpatient basis, we have, both for adults and for youth. Crisis beds where people can stay up to as long as 10 days receiving mental health evaluation and care during that period of time.”

Sutor said he is glad to see the negative stigma around mental health change in recent years.

“While that stigma continues to a degree, I think that education, initiatives regarding public health and awareness drives that people are becoming more aware and more accepting of seeking out care for mental health issues,” Sutor said. “And I think that is, clearly, a very good thing.”

Right now, SERCC says it has around four to six adults and four to six children in the facility at a given time receiving services, indicating the facility is a resource the community is certainly making great use of.