05/28/2013 12:41 EDT | Updated 07/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Manitoba opens mental health crises centre; believed to be first in country

WINNIPEG - A special centre believed to be the first in Canada dedicated to mental health crisis care is to open next week in Winnipeg.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger says the response centre will be open 24/7 for people who urgently need to see a mental health professional.

Selinger says 10,000 people a year have been visiting emergency rooms in Winnipeg, even though less than 15 per cent require hospitalization.

Some of the services provided at the new centre are to include mental health assessment, crisis intervention and treatment.

Patients will be connected to key resources for followup care as needed.

The government provided $12.3 million for the centre for which ground was broken just over two years ago.