A behavioral health crisis doesn’t happen on a schedule. They can be sudden, unexpected, and occur at all hours of the day and night.
Sometimes, when someone in our community is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, a police officer is called and the first one on the scene. Other times, and most often, no one is called and the person simply suffers, not knowing there are other options for receiving help.
That’s where Columbia River’s new mobile care programs come in. Made up of two programs: Columbia River Mobile Health, and Columbia River Night Crisis, will operate respectively during the day and the night to provide services to Clark County.
Columbia River Mobile Health, a street medicine team, will seek out unhoused individuals who may need help, offering services from basic medical and mental health screenings to alcohol and drug screenings.
Columbia River Night Crisis, the nighttime operating crisis response team, will directly respond to calls from people experiencing a behavioral health crisis at night anywhere in Clark County. Based in Battle Ground, the crisis response team will be able to quickly respond to calls anywhere in the county.
Through this proactive approach, we hope to expand on and fill gaps in mobile response that currently exist in our county’s crisis response capabilities.
When responding to a crisis, it’s difficult to know exactly what the caller will need. To address this, the day and night teams will consist of a mental health therapist, a substance use disorder (SUD) professional, and a peer with lived experience. Additionally, the day team will have a nurse and a medical provider. This team makeup offers a broad array of expertise to callers.
Thank you to the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington, who helped fund the purchase of the outreach van, which will be used by both day and night teams.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to expand our ability to meet people where they are and help them on their path to wellness,” says Victor Jackson, CEO of CRMHS.