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Crisis Triage Facility

Program Overview

A Crisis Triage Facility offers those experiencing a behavioral health crisis an opportunity for immediate face-to-face support and assistance.  The program is designed with particular community needs in mind which often include rapid intervention, diversion from jail, and reduction in the use of hospital emergency departments for behavioral health crises.  Visitors to the Crisis Triage Facility will find an environment, staffing, and philosophy designed to establish stability and provide a setting for recovery that is based on strengths, assets, and community supports.

Population Served

Crisis Triage Facility programs have generally been developed to serve those 18 and older who are in some sort of behavioral health crisis.  This type of program might best be conceptualized as a mid-level intervention along a continuum of available crisis services falling between crisis hotlines and hospital care.  Referrals can be made by service professionals, medical staff, law enforcement, family, friends, or the individual themselves. 

Service Provided

Staff teams are developed to provide a wide variety of skills and abilities and may include Certified Peer Counselors, Nurses, Mental Health Clinicians, Chemical Dependency Professionals, and others.  Individuals are greeted at the front door and encouraged to articulate their needs to staff who provide an atmosphere designed to assist them.  Support is provided from a strengths-based perspective in line with the Recovery Model and relies on the therapeutic milieu to facilitate stabilization.  The structure of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)and Motivational Interviewing have been found to be a helpful tools when used in the process of assisting with stabilization.  If the needs of the individual require longer term stabilization or are too acute for the setting, staff have access to resources to rapidly transfer the individual to the appropriate type of care.

Expected Outcomes

The Crisis Triage Facility offers quick stabilization in a setting designed to address behavioral health crises.  Participants find that they leave with more skills for coping, a better safety net of formal and informal supports, and above all a plan that facilitates their recovery.  There is decreased need to utilize hospital emergency departments and jails to stabilize those in crisis, resulting in more appropriate care and more cost-effective care.  Crisis Triage Facilities also provide communities with an opportunity to come together to address the specific needs of their members in ways that are positive and forward-focused.  Additionally, the process provides a context within which to work through many of the barriers that exist between systems (e.g. medical care, behavioral healthcare, law enforcement, housing, tribal systems, etc.)