Mental health disorders and illnesses are serious and should be responded to as such. However, the question comes as to where exactly a person should go in a crisis situation. Knowing what to do and where to go in a crisis situation is imperative to a person’s overall wellness.

Crisis care has the potential to do a world of good for those who need it. For example, a crisis care program that’s been well designed and thought out can give backup to providers in the community. Not only that, but it’s also a possibility that those receiving first-time care get connected to the right service or program for them. There are many ways that a good crisis care program can have an impact on the community and the individuals it treats.

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What Makes Crisis Care Services Successful?

A successful crisis care service program may include the following elements:

  • 24-hour communication
  • Mental health emergency room
  • Walk-in services
  • Mobile crisis teams

There are a variety of factors that could determine what kind of crisis care services a person may be able to receive. Some of these depend on different variables such as where a person lives. Figuring out what’s available in the surrounding area is imperative to one’s crisis preparedness. This is the same for every aspect of crisis care management. The more prepared someone is, the better off they will be when a crisis occurs.

What Are 24-Hour Crisis Communication Lines?

24-hour crisis communication consists of phone services that provide the following:

  • Assessment
  • Screening
  • Triage
  • Counseling
  • Referrals

These lines of communication are usually the first that a person seeks out when finding help/ For this reason, a 24-hour crisis line must be open and working effectively. This could mean the difference of a crisis having a detrimental impact on a person’s life.

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What is a Mental Health Emergency Room?

A mental health emergency room is a walk-in crisis service consisting of clinics and mental health service centers that take care of individuals as soon as they arrive. Sometimes these centers serve as a mediator between individuals struggling with a crisis and law enforcement. This is because oftentimes law enforcement may detain an individual unnecessarily when what they really need is crisis care. All in all, walk-in services focus on reducing crises in a more controlled and stable environment than in an actual hospital.

What are Mobile Crisis Teams?

Mobile crisis teams are groups that intervene for those in crisis situations regardless of where it’s happening. These teams work closely with law enforcement to ensure safety and understanding. They also work with hotlines and emergency medical personnel. What’s great about mobile response teams is that it’s not just about resolving the current situation; it’s about helping those experiencing a mental health crisis, whatever it might mean for them. For example, mobile teams provide pre-screening and act as gatekeepers for inpatient care.

How Do People Stabilize in Crisis Care?

Crisis residential care helps a person stabilize in the middle of a crisis care situation. Not only that but respite and residential care helps to actually address a person’s issues and provides them with continual support. Some of the services they provide may include the following:

Residential treatment for crisis care is a good alternative to hospitalization. It could also work as a transitional phase between the hospital and the world outside the crisis care center. These respite services also help those suffering both directly and indirectly (like family or loved ones) feel a sense of relief. This has to do with the support that comes outside the homes of those who are dealing with crisis management.

Some versions of respite care include the following:

  • Family-based home support
  • Respite centers and apartments
  • In-home support

What is Family-Based Home Support?

Family-based support is when a person who is in crisis management lives with a support “family.” The “family,” in particular, are professionally screened and trained personnel. The purpose of this is to provide mental and emotional support and also to plan treatment. Treatment is planned daily while visiting the home.

What Do Respite Centers Do?

Respite centers are areas of care in which a patient is observed and supported 24 hours a day until they’re stable. Crisis professionals or volunteers often look over individuals at these centers. Not only that, but they also encourage patients, support, and assist them in ways that contribute to their recovery.

What is In-Home Support in Crisis Care?

In the middle of a crisis, it’s imperative to have support around you in the immediate area. In-home crisis support is great for those who need support from those around them in their everyday environment. Sometimes, a separation from one’s daily environment is imperative, but for those who don’t require separation, in-home support is beneficial.

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Other Kinds of Crisis Stabilization

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When it comes to treating individuals in crisis, it is imperative that each kind of stabilization is taken into account. Some of these include the following:

  • Crisis stabilization units
  • Extended observation units
  • Hospitalization
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Emergency rooms

What Are Crisis Stabilization Units?

If you’ve ever heard of an inpatient facility, crisis stabilization units are vaguely similar. Patients stay overnight in facilities overseen by professional medical personnel. The main difference pertains to scalability. For example, regular inpatient locations are usually quite large, having multiple beds, rooms, and other facilities. In a crisis stabilization unit, there are merely 16 beds for those facing a mental health crisis. Crisis stabilization units are mostly for those who cannot be cared for in their own homes. When it comes to this kind of care, patients can be voluntarily or involuntarily admitted when they need safety and security. These units are not as restrictive as a hospital would be. The goal is to get a person back on track swiftly.

What Are Extended Observation Units?

Extended observation units are 23-hour beds that exist for crisis stabilization. These are used if someone’s particular circumstance can be handled in a matter of a few hours, particularly less than 24. This sort of care is fit for those who may require shorter, more intensive observation.

What is Hospitalization in Crisis Care?

Hospitalization in crisis care is when someone is admitted for intensive treatment. This could happen as a result of many different circumstances. When dealing with a mental health crisis, someone will either find psychiatric hospitals or the psychiatric floor of a standard hospital. But what happens in these facilities? Typically, in hospitalization for crisis care, those who are admitted are observed, diagnosed, treated, and stabilized. Sometimes, those who find themselves hospitalized do so on a voluntary basis, but other times, hospitalization can be involuntary. Situations like these are extremely delicate and require the utmost in professional treatment. How Does Involuntary Hospitalization Work? When it comes to involuntary hospitalization, a person is required to pose a danger to themselves or others to be admitted. Typically, those who are admitted involuntarily stay for about three days. Some more intense circumstances may require up to a week of involuntary treatment. If a person feels as though the stay should be extended, it’s up to the court and doctors to decide. If there is still a need, a judge and two doctors will oblige. This is done because of the state’s rules regarding involuntary hospitalization; the decision is usually made when considering whether or not an individual remains a danger to themselves or others. It is important to note that involuntary hospitalization should never be the first course of action. Involuntary hospitalization should only be the solution if a person is a danger to themselves or someone else, as previously mentioned.

Partial Hospitalization in Crisis Care

In addition to those mentioned above, there is also partial hospitalization. Partial hospitalization occurs when an individual possesses acute psychotic symptoms, but is not a danger to themselves or others. When someone undergoes partial hospitalization, the chances of them returning home sooner are increased. This method of crisis care is a lot less disruptive and intrusive.

Emergency Rooms and Crisis Care

Emergency room visits are somewhere between a first and last resort. On one end, a person may not be able to receive help from a mental health facility. On the other end, the situation in which a person may be a danger to themselves or others escalates; as a result, emergency medical services may be required.

Should I Go to The Emergency Room for My Mental Health?

You should go to the emergency room for your mental health if the following relates to you:

  • Suicide attempt
  • Assault
  • Threatening another person
  • Hearing voices that aren’t there
  • Paranoia
  • Drug abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
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Don’t Hesitate in a Time of Crisis

Times of crisis have no respect for boundaries. There is no perfect time to pursue treatment. It’s also never too late to do so either. All in all, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every situation regarding crisis care. However, at MindMD, there are those standing by to assist you, whatever the need may be. If you or a loved one are in a crisis situation and need the utmost in professional care, you can make an appointment here.

Contact us online or call (833) 646-3631 for your confidential addiction evaluation.

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