July 2021 Edition
Stepping Up-Alternatives to Incarceration: Quarterly Newsletter-July 2021
Welcome to the 7th Stepping Up-Alternatives to Incarceration Quarterly Newsletter from Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region (Region). The purpose of the newsletter is to keep key stakeholders in the Region informed of the status of the Stepping Up-Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative in Southwest Iowa.


In this issue, you will learn about the Region's Crisis Stabilization System progress in FY 2021. The Region will also share an exciting opportunity for county staff to attend an upcoming training at the Annual ISAC conference.
Southwest Iowa MHDS Region: Crisis Stabilization System
Each year, the Region reports the progress of its Crisis Stabilization System to the State. Due to recent legislative changes, the Region felt it was important for our readers to see how our crisis services have grown over the past few years. As we begin our Crisis Assess Network (CAN) these services will continue to be vital. We hope to see continued growth and enhancement in each of these services in the coming years.   
During FY21, the Mental Health Crisis Response Team (MHCRT) continued to expand its services to rural law enforcement and critical access hospitals throughout the region. Although the original focus of MHCRT was to support law enforcement during encounters with individuals experiencing mental health crises to avoid unnecessary incarceration and hospitalizations, the region recognized the need to support rural critical access hospitals because people often seek help during a mental health crisis from hospital emergency departments. The feedback from our law enforcement partners on the quality of services provided by the MHCRT has been positive. They find it not only saves them time, more importantly, it helps individuals and families in crisis access the support they need. 

The MHCRT also plays a vital role in providing assessments to individuals, who as an alternative to filing civil commitment, choose a voluntary assessment through pre-commitment services. The final service to benefit residents in our region involves court ordered assessments whereby a Judge requests an assessment from the MHCRT on filings that may need additional information before making the determination to order a commitment. 
The Crisis Service System works to utilize a process of warm handoffs from one service to the next. The Hope4Iowa Crisis Call line, MHCRT, Crisis Stabilization Residential Service and Region Crisis Service Coordination communicate regularly to continue to enhance the handoff process. These services are the foundation of the new CAN that officially started July 1, 2021.

Mental Health Crisis Response Team (MHCRT) provides immediate therapeutic intervention for mental illness and substance abuse crises wherever the crisis occurs. MHCRT data represent the total number of individuals assessed by the Mental Health Crisis Response Team. In FY 21, MHCRT completed 491 assessments.

On July 1, 2021, Turning Pointe joined the Zion family and became known as Harbor Point. Harbor Point is a short-term, home-like crisis stabilization residential service for individuals in mental health crisis. During FY21, there were 198 admissions to the Region's CSRS.  

Hope4Iowa Crisis Call Line began operations in June 2015. The service was implemented to serve as the first point of contact for the Region’s crisis stabilization system of services. In the line graph below, each data point represents the total number of documented calls that occurred during the fiscal year.  As the graphic indicates, Hope4Iowa Crisis Call Line provided services to 395 documented callers during FY21.
Region Crisis Service Coordination
Crisis Service Coordination refers to the function of region staff that have been designated to monitor and coordinate CAN referrals within the Southwest Iowa MHDS Region and perform duties necessary to assist in the development and maintenance of the region’s crisis service system. The purpose of this program is to ensure Southwest Iowa MHDS individuals receiving crisis services receive appropriate resources and referrals to help remedy the crisis situation.

As stated previous, Southwest Iowa MHDS Region is excited to announce that our CAN process officially began July 1, 2021.
Exciting Training Opportunity
Southwest Iowa MHDS Region welcomes staff from our local Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Jails to attend this ISAC training on Friday August 27, 2021 at the ISAC Annual Conference in Des Moines. This training is taught by two veteran law enforcement officers and will help your staff learn more about how to divert person’s struggling with brain health from incarceration. Please contact Suzanne Watson, CEO of Southwest Iowa MHDS Region at swatson@swiamhs.org to learn more and about funding to attend this training.

[ISAC Agenda: Friday August 27th]
The SWIA MHDS Region's Crisis Stabilization Services

Mental Health Crisis Response Team

Provides multiple crisis service

Precommital screening for residents of the SWIA Region

Assessments for court ordered committals

Telehealth Crisis Response available to SWIA Region residents. Services include assessment, stabilization and referrals to community services. This service can only be initiated by Law Enforcement

These services are expanding into all counties in the Region

For further information, Law Enforcement can contact Jenny Stewart (Director) at 712-325-5619

"To avoid the need for an Emergency Protective Custody hold or inpatient psychiatric hospitalization"

Service provided by Heartland Family Service

Harbor Point Crisis Stabilization Residential Service (CSRS)

Call (712) 850-1389 to make a referral

Referrals accepted 24 hours a day

A screening set up within 24 hours

Accepts referrals from friends, family, emergency departments and outpatient providers

Accepts referrals from Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby counties

"Provides a safe, caring, and home-like environment to those with a mental illness in crisis while modeling skills needed to successfully navigate in the community"

Service provided by Zion Integrated Behavioral Health Services

Call (844) 673-4469 for help and support

Crisis line available 24/7, toll free and confidential

Connects individuals in crisis to a helping hand and the resources to address and improve mental wellness

Anyone can call, including service providers on behalf of clients and patients

For residents of Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby counties

"Improving mental wellness, hope and outcomes for residents of Southwest Iowa in times of crisis"

Service operated by Boys Town