UM SSW The Institute  

Crisis Systems

Contact Info:

Jennifer Lowther, CHIPRA Project Director

Effective crisis service design is essential to address imminent behavioral health crises and prevent more expensive crisis treatment. Systems of Care seek to reduce the reliance and cost on emergency rooms, law enforcement and schools and move from a crisis-driven system to one where crisis services are readily available and more preventative in nature. Diverting children and youth with serious emotional disturbances from hospitals and detention centers requires community services to address an immediate crisis as well as stabilization services to prevent repeat crises.

Supported by the CHIPRA grant, Maryland had convened a workgroup since December 2011 to research, analyze and redesign a comprehensive and statewide behavioral health crisis system for children and adolescents residing in Maryland. The aim is to design a system that would allow for crisis intervention services that would ultimately 1) reduce inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations and 2) reduce the disruption of placements in the community. These goals will improve the quality of services to children by reaching them in the least restrictive setting, as well as reducing behavioral health care costs. The first phase of the work has included an assessment of Maryland's system with recommendations for designing a robust crisis system that involves a continuum of crisis services, from hotlines to stabilization services. Within Maryland's landscape, the workgroup has determined what core crisis components and services are required to increase rapid and competent community access to youth and families in crisis

Please click here for the most recent draft of the Core Components Crisis Document.