Congressman Mrvan Visits New Porter-Starke Services Crisis Center in Valparaiso

Congressman Mrvan Visits New Porter-Starke Services Crisis Center in Valparaiso

Congressman Frank J. Mrvan (D IN-01) visited with representatives from Porter-Starke Services, a not-for-profit Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) in Northwest Indiana, this past Friday to discuss the organization’s new Crisis Center located at 2301 Cumberland Drive in Valparaiso.

The Crisis Center offers people experiencing a mental health emergency or crisis with short-term (up to 24 hours) observation and care in a less restrictive setting than a psychiatric hospital, a service that Porter-Starke Services also provides.  The Crisis Center is designed not only to help reduce unnecessary emergency room visits, but to provide a place where law enforcement can go to get help for individuals in a mental health crisis.

Congressman Mrvan stated, “I am grateful for how the Porter Starke Services Crisis Center in Valparaiso builds upon our efforts in Northwest Indiana to invest in mental health services that address the needs of those impacted by substance use disorders.  I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the Crisis Center and the Mobile Crisis Team, whose expertise is invaluable while responding to situations and working in partnership with local law enforcement professionals.”

Crisis services are an important component of being a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), a federally supported treatment model of evidence-based best practices, which the State of Indiana’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) is actively pursuing.

The CCBHC model will change the way services are reimbursed and enhance the comprehensive range of mental health and substance use services available in communities throughout the state, including broader access to 24/7/365 crisis care. Grant funding currently supports the Crisis Center, which is one of the first of its kind opened by a CMHC in Northwest Indiana, and includes a total of eight rooms.

“Fundamentally, this service line is a more effective and appropriate way to care for people in a mental health crisis,” said Matthew J. Burden, Ph.D., President/CEO of Porter-Starke Services. “The Crisis Center can be the first step in helping someone receive the care they need.”

Through consistent federal and state support, Porter-Starke Services has been developing and implementing the CCBHC model since 2016, offering outpatient mental health services and substance use treatment for youth and adults, case management, and primary health screening and monitoring.

Porter-Starke Services also recently established a mobile crisis team that responds to mental health emergencies in the community. This team includes case managers and peer recovery specialists who travel to meet with people in crisis to assess the situation, offer support, and connect them with needed care and social services. The Crisis Center now serves as another access point for people in need of mental health services.  

“The Crisis Center serves adults, children, and adolescents. Coupled with our other emergency services and mobile crisis team, this will allow us to better serve our community,” said Melanie Johnsen, Director of Acute Intensive Services at Porter-Starke Services.

Individuals and families experiencing a mental health emergency, crisis, or episode may call 219.476.4523 or walk-in to the Crisis Center to be assessed for care before referral to outpatient, inpatient, or crisis stabilization services.

Porter-Starke Services is a community mental health center with offices in Valparaiso, Portage, Knox, and La Porte. Porter-Starke Services also operates Marram Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center with offices in Gary, Hebron, and Portage. The organization served over 18,500 individuals in 2023.