A mental health center has taken up residence on one of Palm Springs’ most prominent thoroughfares, evidence that mental illness doesn’t have to hide in the shadows.

Desert Crisis Walk-In Center is located in a remodeled storefront at 2500 North Palm Canyon Drive, Suite A4.

The Center provides around-the-clock assessment, psychiatric support, medication management and customized services to adults who voluntarily want assistance in crisis situations caused by grief, anxiety or depression.

The center is open 24 hours a day throughout the year. RI, International, a private provider of behavioral health programs, is operating the center under a contract with Riverside University Health System (RUHS).

Guests may walk in to the urgent care at any time of the day or night. They also may be referred to the walk-in center by mobile crisis teams or law enforcement for crisis and assessment services, according to a news release. All visits and stays are voluntary.

Length of stays cannot exceed 23 hours. During that time, guests help develop an individualized care plans that includes recovery education, peer-to-peer support, mental health services, nutritional counseling, coordination and referral to community-based services.

The Center fills a longtime void in Palm Springs.

Approximately one in five adults in the U.S.— 43.8 million, or 18.5 percent —experiences mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Steve Steinberg, the director of RUHS Behavioral Health, said the center will help relieve pressure on local emergency departments that get overwhelmed by individuals brought in by law enforcement on involuntary psychiatric admissions known as a 5150.

“Our goal is to provide timely support before a situation becomes so volatile that people are involuntarily held in hospital emergency rooms,” Steinberg said in the news release. “We are providing an environment and a level of services that engage people in their recovery.”

Telecare Riverside County Psychiatric Health Facility in Indio provides round the clock emergency services for adults and youth experiencing crisis related to a mental health condition. RI, International operates a mental health urgent care in Riverside.

Peggy Wiley, administrator at the crisis walk-in center in Palm Springs, said the relaxing atmosphere and the peer-to-peer support are an important component of the program. Guests may have visitors and use the phone during their stay.

“Our site quite often is the appropriate alternative to holding people involuntarily in an emergency room,” Wiley said. It’s a location that promotes healing and individual participation.

For more information visit www.ruhealth.org.