Care for mental health crises is often fragmented, with crisis services being provided by on-call therapists or in crowded emergency departments. As a result, some individuals at risk for suicide may fail to receive appropriate services and follow-up, leading to multiple readmissions, involvement with the criminal justice system, or even a suicide death.
"Good crisis care is an effective strategy for suicide prevention, a preferred strategy for the person in distress, a key element to reduce psychiatric hospital bed overuse, and crucial to reducing the fragmentation of mental health care." - Mike Hogan, Co-Lead, Crisis Services Task Force
Crisis Now Report and Website
Effective crisis care that saves lives requires a systematic approach. To advance progress in this area, the Action Alliance (Crisis Services Task Force) developed Crisis Now: Transforming Services is Within Our Reach, a report identifying the core elements of effective crisis care.
These core elements include:
- Regional or statewide crisis call centers that use technology to support real-time coordination across a system of care
- Centrally deployed mobile crisis outreach and support on a 24/7 basis
- Residential crisis stabilization programs for individuals who need support and observation
- The use of essential crisis care principles and practices, such as trauma-informed care, use of peer staff, and a recovery orientation
In 2018, the Action Alliance partnered with the National Association of Mental Health Program Directors (NASHMHPD), RI International, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to launch the Crisis Now website, which supports implementation of the report’s recommendations.