The North Central Health Care center’s Crisis Team has more than doubled in size as part of an effort to better address mental health in Marathon County.

That was one of several items NCHC Senior Executive of Human Services Operations Laura Scudiere reported to NCHC Quality board this month. The announcement comes as Marathon County is forming a new committee that will govern aspects of NCHC, and set up and review Marathon County’s standards for NCHC.

Crisis workers are employed by North Central Health Care to evaluate individuals in the county undergoing a mental health crisis and help develop a plan to get them help.

Staff size has grown from less than 13 full-time employees in 2015 to nearly 26 today, Scudiere says. NCHC also tightened its standards to require all crisis employees to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a human services field. Those employees collectively underwent 5,000 hours of training in 2016, compared to 1,066 hours of training in 2015.

In August, NCHC purchased a van to assist with transporting individuals who may need other medical treatment or be diverted to another facility. That’s helped save law enforcement time and money, as deputies no longer are responsible for the transports. NCHC has also worked with other medical groups in the area to clarify admission requirements, making that process smoother too.