Mobile Crisis Mental Health Services
Mobile crisis services are teams of mental health professionals and practitioners who provide psychiatric services to individuals within their own homes and at other sites outside the traditional clinical setting. Mobile crisis services provide for a rapid response and will work to assess the individual, resolve crisis situations, and link people to needed services.
Mobile crisis teams reduce psychiatric hospitalizations. Research has shown that mobile crisis services are:
- effective at diverting people in crisis from psychiatric hospitalization,
- effective at linking suicidal individuals discharged from the emergency department to services,
- better than hospitalization at linking people in crisis to outpatient services, and
- effective in finding hard-to-reach individuals.
Mobile crisis interventions are face-to-face, short-term, intensive mental health services provided during a mental health crisis or emergency. These services help the recipient to:
- Cope with immediate stressors and lessen his/her suffering
- Identify and use available resources and recipient’s strengths
- Avoid unnecessary hospitalization and loss of independent living
- Develop action plans
- Begin to return to his/her baseline level of functioning
Mobile crisis services are available throughout Minnesota for both adults and children. Hours of coverage vary with most teams providing services after hours and weekends. The Department of Human Services plans to have all teams available 24/7 by 2018.
Health, safety and prevention
Mobile Crisis Teams are uniquely trained to deliver early interventions. This helps to ensure that individuals get the needed level of care at the right time and ensure the person’s safety.
Mobile Crisis Teams positively impact local systems and are valued by other professionals for their expertise in helping people in a mental health crisis. They provide valuable support to medical professionals when referring individuals to hospitalization.
Mobile Crisis Teams help individuals navigate the healthcare system to gain access to the services and resources they need for after a mental health crisis. This helps people maintain the stability of their mental health.
Mobile crisis services are cost effective as they divert individuals from expensive and inappropriate settings, such as hospitals or the criminal justice system. The net reduction in costs compared to hospitalization is $102 per person, and those associated with crime amount to $1,080 per person.
Mobile crisis services not only help individuals gain access to the health care services they need, but also helps medical professionals in deciding what services to provide.
Mobile Crisis Teams can provide families and individuals with an alternative to involving law enforcement. Collaboration between crisis teams and law enforcement is increasing, improving the quality of services as well as addressing safety concerns.
Mobile crisis services can divert students from the juvenile justice system. They are also a valuable resource for school social workers who are dealing with complex situations and in communicating with families.
Contacting the mobile crisis team can be an entry point for accessing case management and other county services. County staff also utilize mobile crisis teams for consultation to various county programs, such as foster care, child protection and adult protection, and as a resource for clients in crisis.