A Closer Look: Crisis Intervention Services
Interested in learning more about our Crisis Intervention Services? Checkout our talk with TrueNorth’s Crisis Intervention Managers, Kara Decker (Fulton County) and Jayne Wildasin (Adams/York Counties) for a look inside their departments.
What is Crisis Intervention?
Kara: Crisis Intervention Services are responsible for assessing individuals who may be at risk of suicide or homicide and help to ensure immediate stabilization by getting these individuals connected to resources. Crisis Intervention provides solution-focused interventions to promote independence, personal growth, and decision making that are intended to get the individual back to pre-crisis state.
Jayne: We are a 24/7, 365 days-a-year crisis unit serving York and Adams counties. With mobile, walk-in and telephone services, we offer evaluations that determine the most appropriate level of treatment and provide referrals to those treatment services. We help facilitate inpatient admissions to psychiatric care as well as substance abuse admissions to detox and rehab. We talk with people when they are having suicidal thoughts, as well as when they are feeling lonely or depressed.
Why is your program an important part of TrueNorth?
Kara: Crisis Intervention is important to TrueNorth because we help individuals who have intensive mental health needs in emergency situations. Our role is to help ensure that individuals remain safe, so they may be able find appropriate treatment options.
Jayne: We provide support to all programs within the agency. For example, if one of our therapists feels their client is struggling, they can contact us to request a follow up call to that client.
Why is this program an important part of our community?
Kara: Our program is an important part of the Fulton County community because it helps to ensure safety among individuals who are struggling with suicidal and homicidal ideations. We are able to get individuals linked to the appropriate level of care an ensure that are able to keep themselves and others safe.
Jayne: Crisis is an extremely beneficial service to the York/Adams community. When behavioral health is at an all-time low and many providers are booked out months in advance, crisis plays a vital role in helping people stay safe. Crisis is a free service in the community, someone can call in 24/7 and talk to a crisis specialist or they can come to our walk-in center and see a crisis specialist in person.
What are some recent highlights from your team and what are you currently working on?
Kara: The Fulton Crisis team continues to connect with other services in Fulton County. We are part of a team that is working in the community for individual with substance use disorder, known as the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment Model (SBIRT). We have collaborated with individuals from Franklin/Fulton Drug and Alcohol, Fulton County Family Partnership, Gaudenzia and FCMC, to work together to help ensure that individuals struggling with substance use are linked to the appropriate entities.
We have also collaborated with Fulton County Office of Aging to help gain an understanding of how we can ensure that our elderly population is receiving the Mental Health treatment that is needed. In addition, we participate in a Fulton County office area on Aging Team (FCOAAT).
Jayne: We have added some new members to our team and continue to recruit in order to get up to full staff capacity. We participated as an agency with Give Local York, with a focus on York/Adams Crisis, and are using those funds to update technology for our crisis specialists so they can better serve our clients.
What are some current goals for the department?
Kara: The major goal for the department is to continue to work in collaboration with as many outside agencies as possible to ensure that all individuals in need of crisis services are able to get access to them. We continue to be part of the Suicide Prevention Coalition with the Mental Health Association to help prevent suicide and to bring hope and support to those who are affected by suicide.
Jayne: We are working on recruiting staff, so we are able to operate at full capacity and look at different, creative ways to serve the communities within York and Adams Counties. When we are once again operating at full capacity, we will be able to further assist the new 988 Lifeline by answering calls 24/7.
What are the biggest challenges facing your department?
Both: Staff and Funding.
The need for Crisis Intervention will never go away. Our volume continues to increase, but our funding has stayed the same. We are seeing more and more people having mental health crisis as the aftermath of Covid-19 continues to trickle down.
This team works 24/7, 365 days a year. It is crucial to our community that help be available when they need it. We have a fantastic group of crisis intervention specialists, but, in order to reach the level of service our community needs, we must grow our team.
You can reach our Crisis Hotline at 1-866-325-0339.