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2018, A Comprehensive Crisis System: Ending Unnecessary Emergency Room Admissions and Jail Bookings Associated with Mental Illness

2018 A Comprehensive Crisis System

We have arrived at a time of great opportunity. A perfect storm in which psychiatric boarding challenges, escalating healthcare costs, public safety concerns around mental health and higher rates of incarceration for individuals experiencing mental health issues have solidified a desire to change how we address acute mental health needs within our communities. We have an opportunity to truly deliver on the commitment to better health outcomes, improved experience for those with acute mental health needs and dramatically lower healthcare costs through the implementation of a recently established set of consensus exceptional crisis care service delivery standards. The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Crisis Now: Transforming Services is Within Our Reach report and the corresponding business case resources offer a quantifiable, cost-reducing roadmap to replicate systems that are being implemented, in varying degrees, across the United States. And there is more good news for those looking to implement these practices in their own community. The approaches and the levels of care advanced within the Crisis Now model already exist in a vast majority of our communities as physical health and first responder system counterparts; so significant aspects of this design are in many ways familiar to healthcare leaders and community stakeholders. Additionally, tools are now available to calculate the very real impact of developing a comprehensive mental health crisis response system. This data-driven approach that corresponds with the Crisis Now Business Case can be applied to any population through the use of tools on the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors’ (NASMHPD’s) website; supporting independent analysis of cost impact that follows design implementation.

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