Since 2012, there has been an unprecedented investment in Next Generation Crisis systems across the country, but these new programs owe a debt to the early pioneers.
“Psychiatric Boarding” Ruled Illegal – In 2013, ten persons filed a suit in Pierce County contesting their petitions due to long waits. A year later, the Washington State Supreme Court said holding an individual in an ED until an appropriate bed is available is unconstitutional and therefore unlawful.
National Council Leadership – Linda Rosenberg and the National Council for Behavioral Health launched the first ever specialized track for crisis service at the spring Washington, DC conference, including a pre-conference, town hall and multiple sessions and one of their most active list serves ever.
Air Traffic Control Level 5 System – Crisis Access Holdings, LLC modified the Milbank collaboration continuum (original citation Doherty, 1995) for evaluating crisis system community coordination and collaboration. The model suggests five required elements, including electronic crisis bed inventories.
Investment in Mental Health Wellness Act – California legislation SB 82 provided nearly $150 million to improve access to and capacity for crisis services, believing that 70% of ER presentations for psychiatric evaluation could be avoided with improved crisis stabilization, mobile crisis and crisis triage.
A Plan to Safeguard All Coloradans – In response to the Aurora tragedy, Governor Hickenlooper introduced over $100 million in state funds for expanded crisis stabilization, crisis respite, mobile crisis, crisis call center, warm line and marketing. “We can help people from falling through the cracks.”
24/7 Outpatient & Short Term Residential – The Regional Behavioral Health Authority for Phoenix expanded its robust crisis continuum with two new Access Point/Transition Point facilities for individuals with after hours presentations but whose needs did not require sub-acute stabilization.
Americans with Disabilities Act & Olmstead – In 2010, the Department of Justice entered into a Settlement Agreement with Georgia over complaints of unnecessarily institutionalization. The agreement included new crisis stabilization programs, mobile crisis teams, crisis apartments, expanded crisis hotline, etc.
Big Box Full Continuum – In 2006, the Regional Behavioral Health Authority for Tucson and University Physician’s Hospital partnered on a $54 million community bond to launch a mega-crisis center with co-located call center, crisis stabilization (adults and teens), law enforcement sally port, and more.
Statewide Crisis & Access Line – After Hurricane Katrina, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities expanded its Single Point of Entry into a statewide program with 24/7 scheduling, online dashboards and advanced analytics (recognized as innovation by Business Week).
Full Continuum of Crisis Services – Harris County MHMRA developed a groundbreaking array of integrated crisis services for the greater Houston metropolitan area, with a psychiatric emergency room, crisis residential, mobile crisis outreach team, homeless services and crisis help line.
Hi-tech, Professionally Staffed – Behavioral Health Response was formed by Missouri legislation after the shooting deaths of prominent family members by a person with mental illness. They were first with advanced software, clinical staffing, mobile crisis and a board that comprised local CMHCs.
First Free, 24-Hour Crisis Hotline – In 1958, Edwin Shneidman founded the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, which was the nation’s first crisis hotline and later consolidated into Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. 10 years later, Shneidman would form the American Association of Suicidology.