From: Christy Ferrington, 

Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center; Chris Meyer, Winona County Board


Though the city of Winona’s Alternative Response program is not going forward, we want you to know that those mental health crisis services are still available through the Crisis Response for Southeastern Minnesota. Especially during the holiday season, which can be stressful for so many of us, support is available here in Winona and across the county. People in crisis don’t have to end up in the emergency room, jail, or on the street without help. This is why these services are available 24 hours a day every day for everyone (youth, adults, loved ones, friends) regardless of ability to pay. The crisis is defined by the individual themselves, and one does not need to be feeling suicidal to call. People will never be charged for the service if insurance doesn’t pay. 

If you or someone you know is in danger of hurting themselves, is at risk of being unable to take care of themselves, or unable to function in a healthy manner, start by calling the crisis line (toll free) at 1-844-274-7472 (844-CRISIS2). A trained crisis counselor can help assess and provide immediate intervention, stabilize the crisis over the phone if possible, and offer referrals for further support. If you need additional immediate support the counselor can dispatch the mobile crisis response team. A team with two mental health practitioners trained in crisis response will arrive without fanfare, in unmarked vehicles, to protect your privacy while providing safe interventions, mental health assessments, and stabilizing treatments.

In addition to these services, this summer the Southeast Regional Crisis Center opened as a 24/7 walk-in mental health facility at 212 Campus Drive Southeas, Rochester, Minn., for people experiencing a mental health crisis.  

These services are provided as a community collaboration of regional healthcare organizations, non-profits and 10 counties in the region including Winona County. You can learn more at

Note: Statements made by Commissioner Meyer are hers and not those of the county.