Montgomery County Diversion Center

Diversion Center FAQs

As part of its ongoing efforts to address unmet behavioral health needs in our community, the Montgomery County government plans to build a new Diversion Center on Seven Locks Road. In consultation with the Seven Locks community and other county stakeholders, the Diversion Center will be designed to provide crisis stabilization, referral, and follow-up services to adult county residents, while reducing the burden on hospital emergency rooms and first responders.

What is a Diversion Center?

A Diversion Center is a 24/7/365 facility that provides voluntary, short-term stabilization services to individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. It is the third component of the “Crisis Now” model, which includes crisis hotline and mobile crisis outreach services. By establishing a Diversion Center, the County aims to divert individuals in crisis from hospital emergency rooms, and thereby reduce the current burden on first responders and emergency personnel, and free up resources for medical emergencies.

What kind of services will the Diversion Center provide?

The Diversion Center will include a total of 25 recliners (<24-hour stay) and 20 beds (<72 hour-stay). It will be staffed by a multidisciplinary team including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed mental health staff, peer support specialists, and alcohol and drug counselors. The Diversion Center will also employ coordinators to engage clients in discharge planning and follow-up to ensure that each client connects to appropriate community-based services.

Who is eligible to receive Diversion Center services?

Clients will be referred and transported by local hospitals and county agencies, including the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Police Department, and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services. The Diversion Center will not be open to walk-in clients. 

How will the Diversion Center be funded?

The project will be largely funded through $17 million in state aid (FY23-FY24). DHHS submitted an application for state bond funds for FY24 as well, and received an additional award of $1.2 million.

What happens to Diversion Center clients once they are discharged?

Diversion Center services will include discharge planning, navigation to appropriate community-based resources, and robust follow-up to ensure that each client connects with the longer-term services and support they need. Upon discharge, all clients will be provided with a variety of transportation options to their next destination.
Diversion Center staff will discharge a client as soon as it is clinically appropriate. However, if clinical staff determine that a client is a danger to themselves or others, they can authorize an emergency petition and transfer the client to the nearest hospital.

How will the Diversion Center impact community safety and security?

The Diversion Center will benefit the safety and security of the Seven Locks community, where thousands of individuals who have interacted with the criminal justice system are released around the clock every year. The Diversion Center’s proximity to Montgomery County’s Central Processing Unit and Detention Center will enable these individuals to easily access stabilization services upon release, instead of being released directly into the community without any support. 
As for the Diversion Center’s own security, DHHS will contract with an external vendor through a competitive bidding process to provide 24/7 onsite security services. The County will solicit community input into security plans throughout the design phase of the project.


Diversion Center Project Update
Tuesday, May 21
7 p.m.
Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville

See press release for more details

Project Update Website (Department of General Services)

Questions/answers--Community Meeting, October, 2022 (PDF)