Emergency Mental Health Response Services can assist with individuals who are currently experiencing, or have recently experienced, a mental health crisis. This program consists of:
The Mobile Outreach Program is the mobile unit of Erie County Medical Center’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP). This program provides community-based mental health intervention to individuals in Erie County who are experiencing a mental health crisis. The main goal of the program is to divert individuals from unnecessary presentations at local psychiatric emergency rooms and to provide these individuals the services they need in order to remain safely in the community. Services are available 24 hours a day by calling 716-834-3131 and asking for an Outreach Counselor.
The Mobile Outreach Program receives referrals from other community mental health agencies, family members, police, friends, neighbors, landlords, or anybody else concerned about the welfare of an individual who appears to be experiencing a mental health crisis. Criteria used in assessing the situation include deterioration of mental health status or an increase in mental health symptoms, coupled with acute emotional distress, thoughts of suicide or wanting to hurt oneself, thoughts of harm to others, physical aggression to others, and/or refusal of psychiatric or medical care because of impaired insight or judgment.
The following services are available:
- Telephone Assessment: Staff is able to provide assessment over the phone, and determine appropriate levels of intervention.
- Assessment: A team of two professionals, including at least one licensed social worker or mental health counselor, can provide face-to-face mental health evaluation and lethality assessment for the individual in crisis. Generally, this is done in the individual’s home, but can also be done at any safe and private location in the community, such as a counselor’s office, a medical facility, or a police station. The goal of the assessment is to stabilize the crisis and assess for the need for referral to additional community services.
- 9.45 Evaluation: While the goal of an assessment is to stabilize the crisis and divert the individual from unnecessary presentation at a psychiatric emergency room, sometimes this is not possible. In order to preserve safety and prevent an individual from harming oneself or others, an involuntary transport to a psychiatric hospital is sometimes necessary. Staff is responsible for assessing whether an individual meets the criteria under Section 9.45 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. If this is the case, the individual is transported to Erie County Medical Center for further evaluation by a psychiatrist who determines the need for psychiatric admission.
- Jail Diversion: This service is available to law enforcement officers who encounter an individual who appears to be mentally decompensated and has committed a low-level, non-violent, victimless crime. In lieu of arrest, law enforcement can contact the Mobile Outreach Program to provide assessment and a 9.45 evaluation to determine if a hospital transport or linkage to services is more appropriate for the individual than an arrest.
- Community Linkage: Staff link individuals in the community in order to maintain mental health and stability. Such linkages may include outpatient counseling, psychiatry, peer support, case management, social services, or housing.
- Consultation: Staff is available for consultation regarding the best course of action for an individual and can access psychiatric consultation 24 hours a day.
Services of the Mobile Outreach Program are available 24 hours a day by calling 716-834-3131 and asking for an Outreach Counselor.
This program provides short-term crisis case management services to individuals with mental illness who interface regularly with law enforcement. Individuals must live in towns/jurisdictions whose police agency has a trained CIT Team. Most referrals to this program come from CIT Officers, but referrals from other sources can be considered if the individual otherwise meets program criteria. The goal of CIT-Crisis Case Management is to decrease interactions with law enforcement and increase linkages with mental health services in the community, as well as diversion (when appropriate) from local psychiatric emergency rooms and jail.
For more information on CIT, click here.
This program provides clinical intervention services to individuals that are being released from inpatient psychiatric stays at Erie County Medical Center and Buffalo Psychiatric Center. Referrals to this program can only be made by discharge planners at these two hospitals, through an arranged referral process. Individuals referred to this program will receive short-term clinical intervention and peer services from a team of MTS Counselors and Peer Counselors, while they are transitioning to ongoing outpatient services. The team works in collaboration with discharge planners, as well as outpatient service providers. The goal of this service is to keep individuals from presenting at local psychiatric emergency rooms for hospital re-admission, and to see that these individuals effectively transition back to the community and are securely linked with appropriate outpatient services identified in the discharge plan.