Fallbrook residents distressed over proposed mental health facility

Residents worried about security

FALLBROOK, Calif. -

Some Fallbrook residents are worried about a new mental health care facility planned for the town’s old Fallbrook Hospital, which closed more than two years ago.

“I prefer them to not even show up at all, go to greener pastures, somewhere else,” said Tracey Schwandt. “I don’t want them here at all.”

Schwandt and several others expressed to 10News their questions pointed at Crestwood Behavioral Health’s purchase of the old hospital. Schwandt worried the patients would be sex offenders or violent criminals shipped to Fallbrook from out of the county.

“For Fallbrook, a population of 39,000 to shoulder the mentally ill of a population base of like 18-million people (LA, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties) is unjust,” she said.

Crestwood spokesman Larry Kamer told 10News the Fallbrook Healing Center, as it will be called, will be a 100-bed facility for people with bipolar, depression, and other mental health disorders. Kamer added most of the patients will be local referrals from San Diego County. 

He said none of the would-be violent criminals.

Schwandt said that’s not the information they received from a Crestwood representative during the last public meeting.

“It’s very scary,” said a skeptical Schwandt. “My mom lives within walking distance. There are preschools and daycare and assisted living and they’re all within walking distance.  Fallbrook’s most vulnerable are within walking distance.”

Kamer said the Fallbrook Healing Center would be secure.  It will be locked inside and out. Patients will be transferred and released when they complete their mental health treatment. However, the initial introductions back into society would be supervised.

The next public meeting is slated for Wednesday, July 11 in Fallbrook.

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