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.