How to Access Crisis Services in Mississippi
Mental health problems are health conditions that can affect the way someone thinks, feels, or behaves. However, just as with any other health problem, it is important to address a mental health problem as quickly as possible. A mental health crisis is any situation in which someone’s behavior puts them at risk of becoming unable to properly provide self-care, of functioning in the community, or maybe even of hurting themselves. Just as with physical health problems, there may be times when a mental health crisis occurs unexpectedly. It is important to know what resources are available to you. Two programs that provide crisis services in Mississippi are Mobile Crisis Response Teams and Crisis Stabilization Units.
Navigating a Mental Health Crisis
“Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency” provides important, potentially life-saving information for people experiencing mental health crises and their loved ones. This guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs that a crisis is emerging, strategies to help de-escalate a crisis, available resources and so much more. Click the image to the right to view this document.
Crisis Intervention Teams
“There are times when someone in a mental health crisis may be acting in ways that can seem suspicious to officers and others who don’t understand that behavior could be the symptom of a serious illness. There’s more to being a law enforcement officer than just arresting people, and this CIT training provides the tools to truly assist people in getting the help they need.”
– Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun
Crisis Intervention Teams are partnerships between law enforcement officers and a variety of agencies, including CMHCs, primary health providers, and other behavioral health professionals. Watch the video below for more information about Chief Deputy Calhoun’s personal experience of how his community has benefited from Crisis Intervention Team training.
Crisis Intervention Teams are the product of a partnership between local law enforcement officers and a variety of agencies, including Community Mental Health Centers, primary health providers and behavioral health professionals. Officers who have received crisis intervention training respond to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and divert them to an appropriate setting to provide treatment, ensuring individuals are not arrested and taken to jail due to the symptoms of their illness. CITs are a nationally-recognized best practice, and officers who have received CIT training have been recognized as having the understanding and skills needed to resolve crisis situations.
Who Makes Up a Crisis Intervention Team?
A community partnership between law enforcement and members of the local community is essential for a CIT. While officers are trained in crisis situations, the goal is to divert individuals from a possible arrest to a setting where they can receive services for their illness. Partnerships between law enforcement, Community Mental Health Centers or other local health care providers are critical in arranging a single point of entry for treatment services.
What Training is Required?
CIT officers receive 40 hours of training on topics such as mental health diagnoses, medications, substance use issues and more. They also receive hands-on instruction in de-escalation techniques and hear first-hand accounts from individuals who have experienced mental health crises themselves. The training has a specific focus on safety, for both the officers and the individuals in crisis.
Does CIT Work?
Studies have shown that crisis intervention significantly reduces the instances of arrest and re-arrest for individuals with serious mental illness. CIT officers are able to identify individuals experiencing a crisis and are more likely to divert them to a treatment program. CITs have also been shown to reduce officer injuries and calls requiring special officer teams. CITs have worked in both urban and rural communities.
Where Can I Find Out More?
For more information, including how to arrange CIT training, contact Sherry Holloway at the Mississippi Department of Mental Health at 601-359-1288 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile Crisis Response Teams
Mobile Crisis Response Teams provide community-based crisis services that deliver solution-focused and recovery-oriented behavioral health assessments and stabilization of crisis in the location where the individual is experiencing the crisis. Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCeRTs) work hand-in-hand with local law enforcement, Chancery Judges and Clerks, and the Crisis Stabilization Units to ensure a seamless process. The teams ensure an individual has a follow-up appointment with their preferred provider and monitor the individual until the appointment takes place.
MCeRTs are coordinated through the local Community Mental Health Centers. Please click here for more information about Mississippi’s 13 regional Community Mental Health Centers. You can find more information about MCeRTs by clicking here, and please see below for Mobile Crisis Response Team contact information.
Crisis Stabilization Units
The role of the Crisis Stabilization Units is to provide stabilization and treatment services to persons who are in psychiatric crisis, without the need for an inpatient admission to a state psychiatric hospital. CSUs offer voluntary and involuntary treatment services. In addition, after treatment an individual will already be connected with their local Community Mental Health Center.Crisis Stabilization Units Map