A first-of-it's kind mental health treatment facility located in downtown Savage began treating clients Monday. 

Guild Crisis and Recovery Center offers crisis stabilization services for up to 10 days and intensive residential treatment services, referred to as IRTS, for up to 90 days. 

IRTS programs provide access to intensive treatment while preparing individuals to integrate back into their community and home setting, Guild's Executive Director and CEO Julie Bluhm told the Savage Pacer last year. Without transitional support, many people with mental illness bounce between two extremes on the care spectrum — hospitalizations and outpatient services.

While IRTS is a step down from hospitalization, crisis services are meant to help people avoid the hospital in the first place.

"The entirely new center was designed by UrbanWorks Architecture around trauma-informed planning principles, ensuring that people of all backgrounds feel welcomed and safe," Guild stated in a press release. "With ample integration of daylight, connections to nature, and a variety of calming design features, the architecture itself promotes holistic recovery and peace of mind."

The 16-bed facility offers individualized rooms and bathrooms for each client. 

Funding for the project came together over roughly two years from sources that include the state Legislature, Scott and Dakota counties, the city of Savage, Allina Health and St. Francis Regional Medical Center. 

Many involved with the project have said they hope the Savage treatment center will serve as a model for other facilities in Minnesota and nationwide. 

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