More Than a Crisis: Responding to Mental Health Emergencies with Multi-Disciplinary Response Teams
2021 Engage & Excel
- Date: October 1, 2021
- Moderator: John Petrila, JD
- Speakers: Enrique Mata, MSPH, RN, Michael Thompson, and B.J. Wagner, MS
Traditionally, communities across the United States have relied on law enforcement for the initial response to mental health emergencies, often leading, by default, to inappropriate jail bookings or unnecessary admissions to hospital emergency departments. However, in Texas, there is growing use of a multi-disciplinary response team (MDRT). The MDRT combines a specially trained community paramedic, licensed mental health professional, and a law enforcement officer to connect someone in crisis to same day services and medication when appropriate. Early evidence suggests that approaching a mental health emergency like a general health emergency can resolve many situations on site, link people to the care they need, and reduce arrests for new offenses. The practical effect is the redefinition of our traditional response to mental health emergencies. Session participants will learn about the core elements of MDRTs, an overview of current data, and practical insight about implementation.