Syracuse Mobile Crisis Outreach Project
Special Projects Fund
November 16, 2006
Syracuse residents with mental illnesses encounter a number of barriers when attempting to access quality mental health care.
Too many individuals rely on a single source of acute mental health care— the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) at St Joseph’s Hospital Health Center—despite whether or not they require intensive emergency services. Prior to 2007, CPEP had performed very limited outreach and used existing clinical staff to do so. CPEP’s leadership believed they could increase access to mental health services in the community through use of a mobile crisis team staffed by trained clinicians.
This grant to St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center’s Mobile Crisis Outreach Project helped expand psychiatric services provided in a patient’s home instead of an emergency room.
Three large community hospitals joined to operate a Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, a collaborative organization located at St. Joseph’s Health Center providing emergency mental health services for Syracuse residents. Because many patients using services of the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program do not require emergency care, this grant supported a mobile outreach program providing crisis outreach services and interim crisis services in people’s homes, rather than an emergency facility. Specific services included: (1) initial in-home crisis evaluations of patients who are not immediately a danger to themselves or others; (2) early stage crisis intervention; (3) expedited transfer to the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program; (4) assistance with identification of and connection to appropriate community providers; (5) monitoring of medication compliance; and (6) provision of supportive services, including family support and education.