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Crisis response services save lives: Learn about services that can get your employees assistance with behavioral or mental health issues.

The mother on the other end of the phone line didn't know I where to turn. Days earlier, her daughter's 13 year old friend had committed suicide, leaving parents in a suburban Salt Lake County community at a loss for how to help grieving teenagers cope with the unexpected and devastating loss.

Tipped off to the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute's (UNI) CrisisLine, a 24 hour, 7 days a week phone crisis service staffed by licensed mental health professionals, the mother decided to call for help after seeing a news story about suicide prevention. She picked up the phone and spoke to a counselor, who discussed various program options available to her and arranged for UNI's Mobile Outreach Team (MCOT) to come to speak with the concerned parents and teens.

The situation is one of many that unfold daily for the university's set of crisis programs, which provide crisis intervention services for Salt Lake County residents experiencing an emotional or psychiatric crisis. The programs include the CrisisLine, WarmLine, MCOT, Receiving Center and Wellness Recovery Center.

The UNI crisis programs were created in 2011 as a partnership with OptumHealth and Salt Lake County and have been recognized in Washington, D.C. and locally as one of the most comprehensive and successful crisis response systems in the country.

The CrisisLine answers about 4,000 calls a month, said Mary Talboys, a licensed clinical social worker and director of crisis services for the University Neuropsychiatric Institute. MCOT teams respond to about 250 outreach cases each month.

"Going to the site of the crisis whether it be a home, work site, provider's office, or park allows for quick response," she said. "Eighty-six percent of MCOT outreaches resolve in the crisis being handled on site with no need for a hospitalization or emergency room visit. Likewise, the majority of the Crisisline calls are handled on line avoiding an emergency room visit."

Those who access UNI crisis services are experiencing a range of needs from simple referral options to short and intermediate lengths of stay in a less restrictive treatment setting. Calls come from concerned families about a loved one, community clinics asking for a face-to-face evaluation for someone in their clinic, law enforcement on scene needing a professional mental health evaluation, and from others in the community in need of crisis services.

UNI's staff of professionals are trained to help stabilize crisis situations and prevent the need for more costly levels of care. Goals are to provide the right services, at the right time by the right set of trained professionals. Data shows that these programs are having a positive impact in providing the appropriate level of care for individuals while decreasing the need for emergency room visits, inpatient hospitalizations or jail admissions, and a reduced need for law enforcement involvement in crisis situations, said Talboys.

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Comment:Crisis response services save lives: Learn about services that can get your employees assistance with behavioral or mental health issues.(TIMEOUT FOR HEALTH)
Author:Rogers, Melinda
Publication:Utah Business
Date:Aug 1, 2014
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