AN INITIATIVE OF THE NC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES - DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES
The NC Crisis Solutions Initiative focuses on identifying and implementing the best known strategies for crisis care while reducing avoidable visits to emergency departments and involvement with the criminal justice system for individuals in behavioral health crises.
The Initiative is built upon two key strategies: (1) The NC Department of Health and Human Services will work in partnership with all of the stakeholders in the crisis system to find what is working in locations across the state and nation, and evaluate what makes a crisis intervention strategy effective. (2) DHHS will find ways to replicate and sustain successful models by eliminating barriers, and establishing policy and funding to support those models.
Healthcare, government, law enforcement, and community leaders in North Carolina are coming together in the Crisis Solutions Coalition — finding better ways to help people in a behavioral health crisis and to increase the use of services to help individuals quickly resolve the crisis and get back to their homes, families, friends, and work. With earlier intervention strategies that prevent crisis altogether, each community in North Carolina can benefit from strengthened supports to help people.
May 14, 2015 — The Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services (DMH/DD/SAS) and the NC Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) are collaborating on an innovative strategy that will improve care for individuals in a behavioral health crisis.
Local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are frequently the first responders providing assessment and intervention for a person in a behavioral health crisis. EMS departments who have developed advanced training for their paramedics and partnerships with community providers that specialize in treating mental illness and substance use are able to successfully divert individuals in crisis from avoidable visits to hospital emergency departments to behavioral health crisis centers.
On January 20, 2015, the NC Practice Improvement Collaborative and the Crisis Solutions Initiative sponsored a conference on crisis services, inviting four leaders in the field to present. Speakers included David Covington, CEO and president of Recovery Innovations; Mary Smith, Executive Director, REAL Crisis Intervention, Inc.; Larry Villano, Chief Operations Officer of Terros and the Clinic Operations Director for the Choices Network of Arizona; and Becky Stoll; Vice President, Crisis and Disaster Management of Centerstone. In addition, Dr. Aldona Wos, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, presented her vision for the State: to eliminate stigma; to embrace the use of technology to its fullest extent; to promote community-based services at the time and place care is needed; to provide inpatient care as close to home as possible, combined with appropriate transitional services; and to support the recovery model for all people with mental illness.
One hundred sixty-three providers, LME/MCO staff, state agency staff, consumers, and advocates attended the meeting and evaluated it highly. PowerPoint presentations are available for download and videos of each session may be viewed on the NC PIC website.