Crisis Response

Crisis Solutions Center

The Crisis Solutions Center (CSC) provides a resource for police, medics, crisis mental health professionals, and other first responders to use for individuals who are in crisis and might otherwise receive no help, or be taken to jail or a hospital emergency department. The goal of the CSC is to reduce chronic homelessness and unnecessary involvement in the criminal justice and emergency medical systems.

General information sheet here

Overview

Previously, when police and medics were called to intervene when someone was experiencing a behavioral healthcare crisis in the community, the only options they had were to take the person to jail, a hospital emergency department or to do nothing. DESC’s Crisis Solutions Center (CSC) provides a more appropriate therapeutic option.
A team of mental health and chemical dependency professionals will help stabilize the current crisis in a voluntary inpatient setting. They will also immediately work to refer participants to long-term assistance and housing, tailored to each person’s needs. As a result, the CSC will reduce overall admissions to jails, hospital emergency departments and psychiatric hospital inpatient units.

The Crisis Solutions Center launched its operations on August 6, 2012. CSC has three components:

  • The Crisis Diversion Facility (CDF) is a 16-bed state-licensed Residential Treatment Facility. The CDF will only accept eligible individuals in behavioral crisis who are referred by first responders in King County, including law enforcement, Fire Department/Medic One units, Designated Mental Health Professionals and hospital emergency departments social workers. Clients will stay in this program for up to 72 hours, and receive stabilization, evaluation and psychiatric services, mental health and chemical dependency assessments and intensive case management.
  • The Crisis Diversion Interim Services (CDIS) is a 30-bed “step down” program which admits clients referred directly from the CDF who are homeless, or at risk for homelessness. Clients may stay up to 14 days and will have access to psychiatric services, mental health and chemical dependency assessments and intensive case management.
  • The Mobile Crisis Team (MCT) is a 26-member team of Mental Health Professionals and Chemical Dependency Professionals. The MCT accepts referrals from police and medics for any individual who are experiencing crisis mental health and/or chemical dependency crisis.

Referral Sources

The Crisis Diversion Facility and Mobile Crisis Team will only accept eligible individuals in behavioral crisis who are referred by first responders in King County, including law enforcement, Fire Department/Medic One units, Designated Mental Health Professionals and hospital emergency departments social workers. Referrals to the Crisis Diversion Interim Services will come only from the Crisis Diversion Facility.

Crisis Respite Program

Working in partnership with Harborview Medical Center, King County Mental Health Court, and hospitals across the county, the Crisis Respite Program is a vital buffer between psychiatric emergency care and life back on the streets.

It provides severely mentally ill homeless men and women, just emerging from a recent crisis or jail, a chance to stabilize in safe, secure and supportive surroundings and connect with services and housing.

Without this program, these people would have little choice but to return to the streets, where they would most likely repeat a cycle of using costly public services like emergency rooms, jails, sobering centers and courts.