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MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS RESPONSE

Alert, track and coordinate trained experts

MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS RESPONSE IS BROKEN

Problem

There are two fundamental flaws in the current approach to mental health emergency response:

  1. The people who respond to mental health emergencies are not trained
    • Formal first responders – specifically, police officers, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs – receive virtually no training in how to respond to and manage mental health emergencies
  2. The people who are trained to manage mental health emergencies don’t respond in-person
    • Mental health crisis hotlines are typically designed for telephone-based counseling only – generally speaking, there is no in-person counseling provided, and when a hotline caller is deemed a danger to themselves or to others, the hotline counselor is instructed to report the call to 9-1-1

Solution

Dispatch trained mental health crisis counselors, with or without formal first responders, when someone reports a mental health emergency to 9-1-1.

It’s time to modernize antiquated approaches to mental health emergency response. By offering the technological and technical support communities and advocacy organizations need, Trek Medics is able to help partners design, test, launch and manage their own mental health crisis response networks, and allow trained crisis counselors to become active participants in responding to mental health crises in their communities. Using readily-available communications technologies, our Beacon dispatch platform and technical know-how can make it very easy for community-level advocacy organizations to alert, coordinate and track local crisis counselors with or without the accompaniment of formal 9-1-1 responders.

We know these are major problems through both experience and research: As an organization of paramedics and EMTs, we can personally testify to about four hours of classroom lecture dedicated to mental health conditions and emergencies. Yet, once out working on the streets, in certain communities up to 50% of our responses were for mental health and/or substance abuse-related problems. For law enforcement, a 2013 study reported that “as many as 1 in 10 calls for police service involve an individual with a severe mental illness”. Yet, a 2017 study found that only 31 states offered formal de-escalation and mental health training for entry level officers, with the amount of training time ranging from 2-40 hours of classroom education.

And as for dispatching trained mental health crisis experts to the scenes of mental health emergencies, it’s a genuine rarity when it happens.

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Design, test, launch and be ready to scale an emergency dispatch system to coordinate local mental health experts and crisis counselors in thirty minutes or less.

Start your free 90-day trial today!

HOW BEACON’S USED BY MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS EXPERTS

In San Diego County, California, when calls to 9-1-1 for mental health emergencies have no medical complaint or criminal component, 9-1-1 dispatchers relay the calls to a “step-down” call center where Beacon is being used to dispatch mobile crisis response teams comprised of mental and behavioral health experts.

Here are three different ways Beacon’s currently being used to alert, coordinate and track crisis counselors for emergency response:

1. Independent Crisis Hotline — Mental health crises are reported directly to an independent mental health support hotline (and/or relayed from 9-1-1 dispatchers); hotline staff then use Beacon to dispatch crisis counselors without 9-1-1 assistance

Standalone Hotline - Mental Health Crisis Response

2. Direct 9-1-1 Integration — When 9-1-1 dispatches police/fire/EMS to a mental health emergency, they also dispatch crisis counselors simultaneously via Beacon through a simple integration with the 9-1-1 call center’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system

Direct 9-1-1 Integration - Mental Health Crisis Response

3. Scanner-Assisted Dispatch — Crisis dispatchers listen to 9-1-1 scanners for mental health-related calls (completely legal) and then use Beacon to dispatch crisis counselors via Beacon web or mobile application

Scanner-Assisted Dispatching for Mental Health Crisis - Beacon Emergency Dispatch

Note: Dispatchers can alert, coordinate and track responders through the Beacon web app and/or the Beacon mobile app

FEATURES FOR MENTAL HEALTH RESPONSE NETWORKS

EASY SET UP

No computer science degree required. Follow the guide and videos to be ready to start dispatching in less than 30 minutes

CONFIGURABLE DISPATCH

Beacon’s flexible design allows organizations to dispatch responders manually or through automation; they can assign specific responders or crowdsource from a larger pool; and they can manage it all via the web app or the mobile app

WITH OR WITHOUT INTERNET

Beacon functions on any mobile phone, via push notifications when internet’s available or SMS when not

PERFORMANCE REPORTING

Beacon offers three types of reports: individual responder reports, incident reports and agency reports.

SCALABLE

Whether you have 5 responders or 500, Beacon can handle your volume through automated workflows and real-time tracking

EDITABLE MAPS

Edit maps to keep responders updated in real-time through their mobile app. Include landmarks, zones, routes and hazards.

Still Have Questions?

If you have questions about Beacon operations, or would like to sign up for a free 90-day trial, send us an email using the contact form below.

The Beacon dispatch platform and mobile app have been made possible thanks to the generous support of:

Cisco Systems Corporate Social Responsibility
Twilio.org awards Trek Medics Impact Fund grant
PagerDuty.org

Send us an email to share how you think Beacon can help your service.