The Schwaller Crisis Center in Hays has marked more than 15 years of service, and recently has undergone changes to welcome more patients who are in need of additional services. Part of High Plains Mental Health Center, the Schwaller Center opened in the summer of 2002 to provide an alternative to inpatient psychiatric hospital admission. Since the center opened its doors, an estimated 6,000 admissions to Lamed State Hospital have been diverted, allowing Northwest Kansas residents to find support in a local, recovery-oriented environment in Hays.

The Schwaller Crisis Center is open to High Plains Mental Health Center's 20-county catchment area. The service offers a 24-hour crisis stabilization program, providing individuals with constant supervision in a home-like atmosphere to provide relief for those experiencing a crisis. Admission to the Schwaller Center is completely voluntary and is not hospitalization. The care provided helps individuals regain healthy coping skills and emotional stability and prepares them to return home with improved levels of functioning. Amenities include four private bedrooms, a community kitchen and dining room and laundry facilities. Staff is present 24/7 to provide individualized treatment plans, medication assessment and management, development of a crisis plan and access to individual therapy. Staff also can help clients work on sleep regulation and managing daily life skills. The Schwaller Center exists to: Provide supportive assistance during unmanageable, stressful circumstances. Help strengthen coping skills and decrease the risk of psychiatric hospitalization. Assist in the transition back to independent living after hospitalization. Aid in alleviating identified stressors and developing individual coping strategies. Assist in medication monitoring and medication reviews. Connect patients to available local resources and support services.

Historically, the Schwaller Center primarily provided care to Medicaid patients. While Medicaid patients still are welcome, eligibility has been expanded to include those who are uninsured. In this way, the Schwaller Center also can assist individuals who are homeless and experiencing a mental health crisis. Private pay patients also can receive services.