In a novel effort to address the escalating issue of mental health crises, the East Metro Crisis Alliance has launched a groundbreaking consumer-focused website. This initiative seeks to provide better-suited assistance to those in need instead of resorting to traditional emergency services like 911 or ER visits.
In the midst of a mental health crisis, individuals and their loved ones often find themselves at the doors of emergency rooms or on the line with 911 operators. However, these traditional emergency response channels may not always be equipped to handle the complexities of mental health emergencies.
The East Metro Crisis Alliance’s website presents an alternative, offering various resources to guide users through the mental health crisis system. The site includes links to mental health professionals, immediate help options, and guides for caregivers, thereby providing a more targeted and effective response.
“One of the things we are always thinking about at the alliance is how to get people the right care at the right time,” said Roger Meyer, East Metro Crisis Alliance project director. “We don’t want people going to the ER unless they are at an ER level of need. We don’t want people calling 911 unless what they are looking for is covered by 911.”
Designed with accessibility in mind, the website uses language and content that resonates with laypeople rather than healthcare professionals. This consumer-centric approach sets the website apart from other resources. Furthermore, the website also includes a set of videos that walk viewers through the process of using specific mental health resources, helping to demystify the experience and reduce anxiety related to seeking help.
The rising number of mental health crises has significantly strained emergency services. This new initiative, as Joe Clubb, vice president of operations for mental health and addiction at Allina Health, points out, “just might help keep the system running a bit more smoothly.”
With this proactive approach, the East Metro Crisis Alliance aims to empower individuals to better understand and plan for mental health crises, allowing for more effective care when a crisis occurs.
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